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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Franz Kafka , Joyce Crick , Ritchie Robertson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When Gregor Samsa woke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into some kind of monstrous vermin.'

With a bewildering blend of the everyday and the fantastical, Kafka thus begins his most famous short story, The Metamorphosis. A commercial traveller is unexpectedly freed from his dreary job by his inexplicable transformation into an insect, which drastically alters his relationship with his family. Kafka considered publishing it with two of the stories included here in a volume to be called Punishments. The Judgement also concerns family tensions, when a power struggle
between father and son ends with the father passing an enigmatic judgement on the helpless son. The third story, In the Penal Colony, explores questions of power, justice, punishment, and the meaning of pain in a colonial setting.

These three stories are flanked by two very different works. Meditation, the first book Kafka published, consists of light, whimsical, often poignant mood-pictures, while in the autobiographical Letter to his Father, Kafka analyses his difficult relationship in forensic and devastating detail.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Editorial Reviews


In this, his most famous story, Kafka explores the notions of alienation and human loneliness. It is a work of extraordinary narrative technique and imagination. This unique edition also presents six of Kafka’s lesser-known stories.

From the Publisher

Since its U.S. launch in 2003, Hesperus Press has enjoyed a growing reputation for its inspired selection of short classic works. Written by illustrious authors, and often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the English-speaking world, these works have been made accessible via a completely fresh editorial approach and new translations. Now, in addition to the Hesperus Classics, Hesperus Press is introducing a new series: Modern Voices. Drawing from the very best of 20th-century literature, Modern Voices will retain the exceptional quality of the Hesperus Classics, with a new series look that reflects the more modern nature of the list. Among the first authors will be Carlo Levi, Katherine Mansfield, and Graham Greene, and Hesperus has already secured prominent contemporary writers like Anita Desai, William Boyd, and Colum McCann to introduce the books—again retaining one of the key successes of the Hesperus Classics. Finally,! 2005 heralds the launch of the Hesperus Contemporary series, opening with The Nightingale Papers, the fiction debut of prize-winning biographer David Nokes.

Product Details

  • File Size: 394 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199238553
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reprint edition (July 9, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003HD2L18
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrifyingly Absurd January 29, 2013
Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis exists in the same terrifyingly absurd sort of world as so many of his other stories. His characters are often oppressed by isolation and a sense of futility, and as such the horror they experience is part and parcel with the very act of living. In his novel The Trial, for instance, Josef K. is arrested and prosecuted for a crime unknown not only to the reader but to himself. Many of Kafka's stories exist on the borders of madness and despair, something most Horror writers can only dream of accomplishing in their own work.

The Metamorphosis is a strangely-layered work pulling out of many literary traditions, but still seemingly unique. The title, for instance, is a reference to Ovid's Metamorphoses, an ancient Roman work that retells Greek myths to make the philosophical point that all things are in a state of flux and transformation. The mutation of traveling salesman Gregor Samsa into a giant insect is reminiscent of werewolf stories... well, except for the insect part. The suddenness and unexplained nature of the mutation is a feature of absurdist and postmodern art, which has it that the world (contra Aristotle) is intrinsically irrational and chaotic. The unkindness of Gregor's family as they fail to adjust to his curse is evocative even of the crueler sort of European fairy tales.

But despite all this, there is nothing that can quite prepare the reader for a story which describes the protagonist's plight in this way: "His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes." It manages to be both disgusting and terrifying at the same time, something the Splatterpunk subgenre rarely achieves.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but Good December 10, 2011
There is a reason that "kafkaesque" means "surreal." The short stories in this book read like dreams/nightmares you would have after eating ham and sauerkraut pizza immediately before bed. I enjoyed their strangeness and trying to figure out what point (if any) Kafka was trying to make in them (alienation seems to be a recurring theme).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazon purchase September 7, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Purchased for an English class. Easy transaction. Book is just what I needed.Story is very short but there are many interesting articles on the story included in the book.
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