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Metamorfosa Samsa

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Kisah unik ini tercatat sebagai karya Franz Kafka—maestro sastra kelahiran Praha—yang paling banyak mendapat sambutan publik. Banyak penulis dunia terinspirasi oleh novela (novel pendek) ini. Maestro realisme magis Gabriel García Márquez mengaku saat masih berusia 19 tahun dia sudah hafal di luar kepala kalimat pembuka novela ini. Nabokov sang pengarang Lolita dan novelis idola anak muda Haruki Murakami pun mengaku terpengaruh oleh kisah ini.

Terlepas dari pengaruh ketenaran Kafka, untaian kata per kata dalam novela ini memang hampir tak ada yang sia-sia. Ditambah lagi dengan kisah yang menggugah, orisinal, dan indah. Seperti diungkapkan sahabat Kafka, Max Brod, “Bacalah beberapa kalimat dari karya Kafka, nanti akan ditemukan napas, corak, dan keindahan yang tidak pernah didapatkan pada gaya penulisan orang lain.“

Novela ini terbit kali pertama di Leipzig, Jerman, pada tahun 1915. Meski telah ada sejumlah versi yang terbit di Indonesia, baru kali ini novela dahsyat ini hadir dari terjemahan teks asli berbahasa Jerman, hasil karya Sigit Susanto, novelis Indonesia yang mukim di Eropa.

Metamorfosa Samsa ini adalah sebuah novela yang layak dikoleksi dan wajib dibaca oleh para pencinta sastra.


“Kafka membuat saya mengerti bahwa orang bisa menulis dengan cara yang berbeda.”
—Gabriel García Márquez, novelis pemenang Hadiah Nobel Sastra

“Takdir dan mungkin keagungan karya ini yang membuatnya bisa menyiratkan banyak hal, tapi sekaligus tak menegaskan satu hal pun.”
—Albert Camus, filsuf dan sastrawan pemenang Hadiah Nobel Sastra

100 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1915

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About the author

Franz Kafka

2,426 books25.8k followers
Prague-born writer Franz Kafka wrote in German, and his stories, such as " The Metamorphosis " (1916), and posthumously published novels, including The Trial (1925), concern troubled individuals in a nightmarishly impersonal world.

Jewish middle-class family of this major fiction writer of the 20th century spoke German. People consider his unique body of much incomplete writing, mainly published posthumously, among the most influential in European literature.

His stories include "The Metamorphosis" (1912) and " In the Penal Colony " (1914), whereas his posthumous novels include The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926) and Amerika (1927).

Despite first language, Kafka also spoke fluent Czech. Later, Kafka acquired some knowledge of the French language and culture from Flaubert, one of his favorite authors.

Kafka first studied chemistry at the Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague but after two weeks switched to law. This study offered a range of career possibilities, which pleased his father, and required a longer course of study that gave Kafka time to take classes in German studies and art history. At the university, he joined a student club, named Lese- und Redehalle der Deutschen Studenten, which organized literary events, readings, and other activities. In the end of his first year of studies, he met Max Brod, a close friend of his throughout his life, together with the journalist Felix Weltsch, who also studied law. Kafka obtained the degree of doctor of law on 18 June 1906 and performed an obligatory year of unpaid service as law clerk for the civil and criminal courts.

Writing of Kafka attracted little attention before his death. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories and never finished any of his novels except the very short "The Metamorphosis." Kafka wrote to Max Brod, his friend and literary executor: "Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me ... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread." Brod told Kafka that he intended not to honor these wishes, but Kafka, so knowing, nevertheless consequently gave these directions specifically to Brod, who, so reasoning, overrode these wishes. Brod in fact oversaw the publication of most of work of Kafka in his possession; these works quickly began to attract attention and high critical regard.

Max Brod encountered significant difficulty in compiling notebooks of Kafka into any chronological order as Kafka started writing in the middle of notebooks, from the last towards the first, et cetera.

Kafka wrote all his published works in German except several letters in Czech to Milena Jesenská.

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291,636 (31%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 32,526 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
February 7, 2021
Here's a link to a BooktTube Video - all about the fabulous (and not so fabulous) old books I've read.

The Written Review


At this point, it's become a yearly tradition to check back on this and see whatever shtstorm happened over the year.

I think my favorite comments are when people are upset that my review is the most popular & they say it doesn't deserve its position.

It's like...lol...what? Do you think I'm going around making nearly a thousand fake accounts on my free time so I can like it myself or something?

I'm in grad school for crepes sake. I got a thesis to write.

If anything, I feel like the popularity of the review shows that there must be a lot of people out there who agree...or they want to follow the resulting fallout as goodreads users lose their minds over one negative review of a classic... 50/50

I do feel somewhat bemused by the people raising hell over me not liking/getting The Metamorphosis...

Sometimes I want to say, hmm...perhaps you just don't "get" my review? Perhaps it is just going over your heads?

But then I realize that it's not up to me to convince them. And that it isn't my job nor my right to force someone to think positively of something that they don't like.

Could you imagine a world like that? Where you are ONLY allowed to think positively about literature and if you aren't, then an angry mob of "literature lovers" will harass you for literally years? What a world that would be...

Ps. thank you for the positive comments as well. I appreciate them. I'm also hella loving your collective effort to bring this review to 400+ comments. I don't think any other review I've written has come even close to that.

Pps. High five to those of you who have read this book and felt like me, that it was a rather pointless tale about a bug that died. Don't let anyone ever tell you different (ha).



It's me.

Your friendly neighborhood reader.

You all want to know why people don't like reading the classics? Try reading the comments.

I didn't like this book and wrote a jokey review in 2018. People freaked out because A) I didn't like the book and B) poked fun at this classic in my review. The horror.

Two years and 300+ comments later...annnnd *drum roll* I really don't give a sh*t anymore.

I'm tired. I'm bored. It's been TWO FREAKING YEARS and people won't leave this review alone.

Feel free to talk about my (lack of) intelligence all you want down below but I really don't have anything to say in the comments anymore.


I read books for fun, not to better myself.

I originally published this review MONTHS ago, for a book published DECADES ago... and I just want to say: Reviewers be warned.

People are not the forgiving sort if you don't like this book. It seems that some classics must be liked, or else .

Since publishing this review, many people have posted their interpretations of this book - some of which I can see, some of which I don't buy and some that really are quite brilliant.

People seem convinced that if only I (the "stupid broad" as one now-deleted comment said) could understand the d*man book , then my "absolute idiocy" could be resolved and I wouldn't have to worry about my children "inheriting the stupid."

While your sentiments about my future children were strong (and no doubt your hearts were in the right place), I'm afraid that won't help them. They are doomed.

Even if the most stunningly accurate interpretation of the novel comes into my life, that doesn't change the fact that I didn't like the book.

I'm not a professional.

I'm not an English teacher.

I have never claimed to be anything other than an avid reader.

Just because I'm a "casual" doesn't mean that I'm only going to stick to fluffy novels. I like to branch out, sometimes with awesome and sometimes with awful results.

And this one just didn't work for me.

The Original Review - (February 2018)

If you are someone who is looking for a serious interpretation kindly check out another. There plenty of brilliant interpretations of this novel, and so many people LOVE it.

Unfortunately, I did not.
I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.
Allow me to explain it to you then:

You (Gregor) turned into a giant bug.

Your family alternated between fearing, caring, and loathing you in your bug-body.

Ultimately, you began doing lots of creepy bug-things and became a burden to them.

Then you starved to death and your parents got their spare bedroom back.

*slow clapping*

Okaaaay, if you haven't already guessed, I didn't enjoy this one.

I am not a fan of books where things just *happen* without any sort of explanation. Nor if books that give off a consistently dreary feeling throughout.

I could summarize the entire book as: Gregor turns into a bug, it was not a smart move.

Which is slightly misrepresenting the book - cause the book actually has Gregor turning into a bug without any rhyme or reason.


a moment.

This is probably one of those books where everything is a representation of something significant in real life.

An "Important Novel", if you will.

Lemme Wikipedia this.




Ok. I'm back.

Apparently the bug thing is either a metaphor for a "father complex" (Gregor's dad was the most anti-Gregor/anti-bug character) or a take on the "artist struggle" (Gregor's sister is the cruelest, because she can make music).

I mean, maybe?

I guess that could be what the book means...? There's a cruel father and a gifted daughter...but who knows.

I guess the book is so open to interpretation that it could literally mean just about anything.

It kind of feels like one of those books just written for the hell of it and then some English teachers got a hold of it and now it's become an Important Novel.

Therefore, I'm going to stick with my original interpretation - it's a rather pointless novel about a bug that dies.

Personally, I did not like the style, the characters and the ending.

It felt painful to read, the emotions and the feelings associated with the events just felt incredibly depressing.

Plus, as a personal pet peeve - plenty of things happen without a solid explanation or clear motivation... which actually funnels back into my "English teachers got ahold of this novel" theory quite well.

Ultimately, this took up time that I can never get back and I don't think I'll ever enjoy it.
How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense
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Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,921 reviews10.6k followers
May 3, 2011
Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to discover he's been transformed into a giant beetle-like creature. Can he and his family adjust to his new form?

The Metamorphosis is one of those books that a lot of people get dragooned into reading during high school and therefore are predisposed to loath. I managed to escape this fate and I'm glad. The Metamorphosis is quite a strange little book.

Translated from German, The Metamorphosis is the story of how Gregor Samsa's transformation tears his family apart. I feel like there are hidden meanings that are just beyond my grasp. I suspect it's a commentary about how capitalism devours its workers when they're unable to work or possibly about how the people who deviate from the norm are isolated. However, I mostly notice how Samsa's a big frickin' beetle and his family pretends he doesn't exist.

There's some absurdist humor at the beginning. Samsa's first thoughts upon finding out he's a beetle is how he's going to miss work. Now, I'm as dedicated to my job as most people but if I woke up to find myself a giant beetle, I don't think I'd have to mull over the decision to take a personal day or two.

Aside from that, the main thing that sticks out is what a bunch of bastards Samsa's family is. He's been supporting all of them for years in his soul-crushing traveling salesman job and now they're pissed that they have to carry the workload. Poor things. It's not like Gregor's sitting on the couch drinking beer while they're working. He's a giant damn beetle! Cut him some slack.

All kidding aside, the ending is pretty sad. I'll bet Mr. Samsa felt like a prick later. The Metamorphosis gets four stars, primarily for being so strange and also because it's the ancestor of many weird or bizarro tales that came afterwords. It's definitely worth an hour or two of your time.
December 1, 2022
A paraphrase. When my (ex)husband went out one evening from unsettling dreams of how faraway his wife was, he went out drinking and whoring. Next morning he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. A cockroach. Much he knew it though. None of his friends recognised it, in fact they preferred the cockroach to the person he had been and he had a great time. When it was time for him to come home, armour-plated as he was he crushed his wife underfoot (well fists and kicks, but same thing).

Unlike Kafka's poor cockroach whom no one could come to terms with and is destroyed by their ultimate hatred of creepy, crawly insects that roam the house, my ex was embraced by all and became the most popular party person. Although at one stage I did have to fight off a woman who was swinging her handbag at me and tell a Spanish prostitute that my husband's unwanted attentions were no business of mine.

The moral of the story is that there is more than one type of human cockroach and Kafka only wrote about one. It's all in the shell, if you are ugly, big, brown and with six legs you are hated. But handsome, big, brown and with only two, you are adored.

Read this book back in 1999 and loved it. Social isolation for visible or invisible characterists reverberated with me, as did the cold gang mentality that rules once each has identified themselves as a sympathetic member.

5 star book
2 star ex husband (I did get my son so he gets a star for that).
Profile Image for Rebecca.
278 reviews315 followers
October 24, 2009
I once used my copy to kill a beetle.
Thereby combining my two passions: irony and slaughter.

Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 8 books16k followers
February 19, 2022

كم مرة رغب كافكا في الموت؟
كم مرة أراد التلاشي من هذا العالم؟
كم مرة شعر بالغربة حتى عن ذاته؟
إن كان التورية تعرّي فلا تعرية مثل التي وجدناها ‏هنا في هذا العمل الأدبي الفريد ،،الموجع و-ياللغرابة ‏الممتع للغاية

يرسم كافكا العلاقة بين الإنسان ونفسه
يمزق كل المتعارف عليه
يثور ويلقي بكل ما عرفناه سلفًا في النار
يتفرج على الحريق باستمتاع و حزن ‏
وشعور عميق بالذنب لا يفارقه


يـا لكلِّ هذا الوجع
يـا لهذا الاغتراب ‏
ويالهذه الروح التي تشهق بينما تجرها أشباح في بذلات أنيقة ونظارات مذهبة الأطر
إلى أعماق ‏بركة آسنة من الانصياع للعرف والتقاليد
ويالهذا المتمرد النازف أبدًا
هذا الحزن الغير معقول الذي ينتابنا عند القراءة
هذا الألم كنصل سكين مغروس في قلبك
وأنت ترى ‏التفاحة اللعينة مغروسة في ظهر جريجور الذي بدأ ‏يحتضر بطيئًا بسبب نزوة غضب سخيفة من أب ‏حقير
تبدأ الدموع تغشاك وهو يزهد في الدنيا ويتقوقع ‏وحده مسكينا تحت الأريكة بلا رغبة في الطعام أو ‏حتى في مجرد تسلق سقف الغرفة وحوائطها كما ‏اعتاد قبلا

تتعفن التفاحة ،، تتصلب أعضاؤك وتشعر بالبرد ‏يغشاك
تغزو روحك الهزيمة وأنت ترى الغبار يتراكم حوله ‏وأرجله تنثني بلا حول تحته ‏
وقبل أن تنفذ العائلة الملعونة خطة "التخلص" منه ‏يكون هو قد أسلم الروح في صمت


كان كافكا ممن عنوا بشأن البرجوازية وأثارها ‏المحطة من قدر الانسان العادي والتي تقلل من ‏‏‏"إنسانيته" حتى أنه يتحول مع خضوعه المستمر ‏للقوانين لحشرة بينما تفتقر العائلة التي طحنتها ‏‏الحاجة إلى المشاعر الآدمية

فالخضوع للقوانين غير الأخلاقية (في هذه الحالة الاستبداد بكل أشكاله) يعني انهيار كل ما ‏هو ‏انساني بداخل الفرد
أما عدم الخضوع لكل ذلك فيعني ببساطة الموت

حاول جريجور قدر ما حاول أن يتبع القوانين
أن يكون ولدًا مهذبًا
أن يساعد عائلته وأن يفنى نفسه لإعالتها
أن يكون "عقلانيًا" كما وصفه مديره بالعمل

وبين كل هذه المحاولات الصادقة نجده فقد نفسه تمامًأ ‏
فيعيش أزمة وجود كوميدية وحزينة ومثيرة للعجب

إن ذات جريجور"تغترب" عنه
ترحل بعيدًا ‏
تترك له هذا الكائن المسكين المثير لتقزز البشر

فهل كان جريجور "يتحول" حقًا أم أنه "انقسم" ذاتيا تاركا جزءًا "أصيلًا" منه في الغرفة وفي ‏الحياة؟

إن عقلانية جريجور تتخذ أكثر أشكال العبثية في صدمة أدبية فريدة من نوعها


العقلاني واللاعقلاني دوما ما يتداخلان في أدب كافكا ‏وبينما يتجلى اللاعقلاني حول الشخصيات ‏في أدب ‏آخر ينقل كافكا اللاعقلانية "بداخل" الشخصية بحيث ‏ينبع منها ويتجسم و"يتحول" إلى ‏غرائب وعجائب ‏لا نجدها في يومنا ال"عادي"‏

رأى المفكر روجيه جارودي أن كافكا خلق عالمه الخاص ‏بمواد عالمنا نحن ولكن مع إعادة ترتيبها وفقاً لقوانين "أخرى" ‏تماماً

كان كافكا يصنع الصدمة بطريقة خاصة به وحده
فقبل نقطة نهاية الجملة الأولى ‏
يصدمك تماما بالكلمة ‏التي جاءت ببساطة "حشرة" أو "مسخ"‏

هكذا بطريقة كوميدية ساخرة صادمة تمامًا قد عرفت ‏أننا في قصة تتحداك من السطر الأول

وفي الرواية بقى السرير بدلالاته العديدة مولد هذه الأفكار ‏العبثية ‏
فبدلا من أن يصحو جريجور "من" الكابوس يصحو ‏ليجد نفسه "بداخله" فعلا
ربما كان كابوس جريجور أنه "بقى" آدميًا في هذا ‏العالم المقزز ولم "يتحول"‏
من يدري حقًا بماذا حلم جريجور في هذا اليوم ‏العجيب؟


إن سامسا ‏هو كافكا
لا فقط في كل إحالة من الرواية لحياته الشخصية كقسوة الأب والعلاقة الحميمة الواهنة باخته ‏التي اعتنت به في فترة إصابته بالأرق ‏
بل أيضا في اللفظة نفسها
إن نطقت سامسا ستجدها مطابقة لكلمة كافكا في الحركات والسكون كذلك

هيرمان كافكا- فرانز كافكا‏

علاقة كافكا بأبيه الجزار(القصّاب) الشرس تتجسد ‏في كثير من أعماله الأدبية ‏
فمثلا في قصة الحكم نجد ‏الحوار بين الاثنين ينتهي بركض الابن مرسعًا ليقتل نفسه ،، ‏لقد ‏أصدر الوالد الحكم وما عليه سوى التنفيذ
وهذه القسوة الرهيبة التي يحملها الأب دومًا ويعامل ‏بها ابنه تبدو غير مبررة ‏،،حيوانية،،لاعقلانية ‏وعبثية تماما
وهناك شعوران أساسيان يتضافران معا
فبينما يبدو كافكا مغمورا في شعوره بالذنب ‏والخطيئة –كونه وُلد أساسا أو تواجد بهذه الحياة
نجد دوما هذا العقاب والانتقام والحرب الباردة التي ‏يشنها كافكا على والده ‏
فهو ينتقم منه على الورق
يحيله وحشا بأنياب ويجلده مرة بعد أخرى
إن الانتقام جنبا إلى جنب مع الشعور الرهيب بالذنب ‏كانا أساس كل ما كتبه كافكا عن والده مرة ‏بعد مرة

صورة مجمعة لأبوي كافكا


الطريف أنه في الوقت الذي كُتبت فيه هذه النوفيلا البديعة لم تكن ‏تعني كلمة حشرة التي نستخدمها الآن حرفيا سوى ‏
حيوان غير نظيف لا يصح استخدامه كأضحية" ‏"
"ungeheures Ungeziefer"
أي أن كافكا اختار مصطلحا غامضا ليبني عليه قصته

وبالتالي ستجد في الترجمات العالمية جميعها أنواعا ‏لا تحصى من الحشرات ومثيلاتها ‏
حتى بالعربية نجد من سماها بالمسخ وغيره ممن ‏سماها بالدودة العملاقة

أما فلاديمير نوباكوف الروائي الشهير فكان يرى أن ‏سامسا تحول لخنفساء مستندا على سطور معينة ‏بالرواية

Profile Image for Gaurav.
149 reviews1,137 followers
June 7, 2020
The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis can quite easily be one of Franz Kafka’s best works of literature- one of the best in Existentialist literature. The author shows the struggle of human existence- the problem of living in modern society- through the narrator.

Gregor Samsa wakes in his bed and finds himself changed into an a mammoth bug- the vermin; he battles to discover what really has transpired, he checks out his little room and everything looks ordinary to him anyway it gets a peculiar inclination it may not be so. He attempts to turn over and return to stay in bed request to disregard what has occurred, but since of the state of his back, he can just shake from side to side.

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

The initial lines of the novella relates the odd occasion of Gregor's change in a very direct way, the author utilized the differentiating image of an abnormal circumstance and common things of life to make a preposterous world which is crisp, disorganized as opposed to rational and normal, as we expect it to be; but the Kafka always do what you least expect.

Gregor becomes accustomed to his creepy vermin body and his family takes care of him (mostly an inappropriate things, however they couldn't care less) and expels furniture from his room with the goal that he can uninhibitedly move around and climb the walls. Be that as it may, they would prefer not to see his appalling structure, he is kept to his room, and normally stows away under the couch when his sister enters with his food, to save her sensibilities (as opposed to the pleasantly human creepy crawly Gregor, his sister isn't chivalrous in any way, yet progressively hostile and barbarous); his brutish dad (as Kafka himself had been quite afraid of his father) pursues him back by tossing apples at him when he once comes out. The relatives additionally need to take employments for they can no longer soak up the fruitful child. What's more, the circumstance separates, and the family crumbles.

The problem of alienation is explored to depth in the novella- Gregor become insect and behaviour of his family members change towards him, he may transformed to something unusual at the core he is still the same however he faces problem of acceptance by society due to his transformed appearance, which ridicules his being- his existence- as if he is thrown into the hell of nothingness without any notice. The feebleness of his existence disintegrates his being into nothingness, under the sheer pressure of the society- the 'Other'.

The novella raises some very basic and profound questions of human existence- alienation, identity, being. Kafka questions all our presuppositions of life- success, social position, money, that a healthy life is characterized by a steadily improving standard of living and a socially-acceptable appearance which we think matter most- through Gregor's metamorphosis. These presuppositions of our life pose more serious questions- which are very chilly and which can rip us apart from any sense of our (inauthentic) existence.

The author robs Gregor-the protagonist- of every sense of his inauthentic existence by stealing off all assumptions of his life, now he is striped down to the very core of his existence. The protagonist is encountered with basic problems of human existence- what it takes to be?- which we encounter in our lives- if we once appeared socially acceptable and now have ceased to do so, are we still in fact ourselves? Was the socially-acceptable persona in fact ourselves, or is there more essential self-ness in the being we have now become? Or have we, in fact, been nobody in the first place, and are we nobody still?

Gregor Samsa can make us ponder our own character, our identity, about the smoothness of what we take to be steady and fixed, and about the dangers and supernatural occurrences of our own metamorphosis. Kafka gives us that how the conventions of normal society are twisted because of our incompetence to look past the surface to the individual inside.
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,089 followers
January 20, 2022
"A pesar de su triste y repugnante forma actual, era un miembro de la familia, a quien no podía tratarse como a un enemigo."

Siempre es una necesidad para mí releer a Franz Kafka, mi escritor preferido y era esta la oportunidad de volver a surcar por cuarta vez las páginas de "La metamorfosis" (o "La transformación", según la acepción que Borges hace de "Die Verwandlung" y que sostiene como correcta). Como en otros ejemplos de la obra kafkiana, es un libro que releería cientos de veces. El poder de atracción que tiene para mí es muy fuerte y con las consiguientes lecturas y a partir del conocimiento de la vida de Franz hace que yo disfrute continuamente de sus relatos y novelas.
Existen muchísimas interpretaciones, ensayos, reseñas, apreciaciones y críticas literarias que se han realizado a partir de su publicación allá por 1915 y que hizo de "La metamorfosis" una joya de la literatura mundial.
Se puede abordar la naturaleza del relato desde varias perspectivas, ópticas y puntos de vista que podrían significar una parábola del sufrimiento humano, una crítica a la discriminación y el desarraigo, una aceptación de leyes condenatorias y por supuesto se puede relacionar con a Gregorio Samsa (y lo que le pasa) a la dura y sufrida historia del pueblo judío, identificada en esa frase de Grete, la propia hermana de Gregor que tanto intentó cuidarlo finalmente lo condena y discrimina: "¿Cómo puede ser esto Gregor? Si tal fuese, ya hace tiempo que hubiera comprendido que no es posible que unos seres humanos vivan en comunidad con semejante bicho." Con semejante pasmo y frialdad, Kafka anticipa el genocidio nazi.
En fin, es amplio el espectro de los posibles significados que la obra planea.
En mi caso, yo creo que para leer esta pequeña novela de alrededor de cien páginas hay que hacerlo con los ojos de Kafka. Tenemos que meternos en su piel, en sus contradicciones y sufrimientos y en los vaivenes de su propia experiencia personal, saber de sus conflictos existenciales y de su complejo de inferioridad. Gran parte de lo que se relata en la novela condice casi en su totalidad con el plano empírico del autor checo.
Las similitudes son varias. En primer lugar, nos encontramos con el apellido de Gregor, Samsa, en el que Kafka jugó con su apellido cambiándole las consonantes mientras que las vocales, que también son A, encajan en el mismo lugar en ambos casos: Samsa=Kafka.
Por otro lado, Gregor vive con sus padres y esto es algo que el propio Kafka tuvo que hacer en una gran porción de su vida, chocando con la cotidianeidad que coartaba su necesidad de trabajo silencioso que era la escritura.
Es precisamente Kafka quien lo lleva a la ficción en uno de sus relatos.
Para él la convivencia con su familia es insoportable, innecesaria. En el caso de Gregor Samsa, existe también la afinidad de que trabaja como viajante de comercio, una tarea tan afín al propio trabajo de Kafka en la agencia de seguros. Ambos deben aportar económicamente a su hogar y en cierto modo ser el sostén de la familia.
Esa familia en la que ambos viven tiene más contras y una de ellas son los padres. El padre de Gregor se erige con la misma autoridad plenipotenciaria que ejercía Herman Kafka para atormentar a Franz. La relación entre padre e hijo siempre fue muy conflictiva y el grado de opresión que ejerció sobre el escritor fue tal que necesitó hacer su descargo en una carta de más de noventa páginas, que para hacer honor a tantas paradojas kafkianas de su obra, nunca llegó a destino.
En un momento del libro, Gregor describe a su padre diciendo "Sobre la rigidez del cuello, alto, se derramaba la papada: bajo las pobladas cejas, los ojos negros despedían una mirada alta y lozana, y el cabello blanco, desde siempre, aparecía brillante y dividido por una raya primorosamente sacada."
Es sorprendente, pero con excepción de la raya al medio, el padre descripto por Samsa es Herman Kafka. Con el influjo de esa mirada paternal tan agobiante, Kafka fue formando la idea de "La metamorfosis”: “Bajo tu influencia perdí la confianza en mí mismo y la sustituí por un infinito sentimiento de culpa."
Pero esto no es nuevo, ya que en su primer relato famoso publicado en 1912 y que se llama "La condena" (y en donde también juega con los apellidos quitando la parte -mann del apellido del personaje principal, Bendemann volvemos a encontrar a Kafka cambiando la A por la E: Bende=Kafka), se produce el mismo juego de juez y acusado cuando Georg Bendemann le dice a su padre que quiere casarse y su padre lo condena por ello (no voy a contar de que se trata el cuento para quien no lo haya leído) y que es un fiel reflejo de su relación con Herman Kafka a partir de su infructuoso intento de casamiento con Felice Bauer.
El otro punto de contacto con la realidad es la transformación de Gregor Samsa. Yo lo conecto con una anécdota que el propio Kafka le cuenta a otra de sus inalcanzables prometidas, Mílena Jesenská cuando le escribe lo siguiente: "Mientras estaba tendido allí, a un paso de mí yacía un escarabajo, patas arriba, desesperado. No podía enderezarse, me habría gustado ayudarlo, era tan fácil hacerlo, bastaba un paso y un empujoncito para brindarle una ayuda efectiva. Pero lo olvidé a causa de la carta. Además no podía ponerme de pie. Por fin, una lagartija logró que volviera a tomar conciencia de la vida que me rodeaba. Su camino la llevó hasta el escarabajo, que ya estaba totalmente inmóvil. De modo que no fue un accidente, me dije, sino una lucha mortal, el raro espectáculo de la muerte natural de un animal. Pero la lagartija al deslizarse por encima del escarabajo, lo enderezó. Por unos instantes continuó inmóvil, como muerto, pero luego trepó la pared como la cosa más natural. Es probable que eso me haya brindado, de alguna manera, un poco de coraje. Lo cierto es que me puse de pie, bebí leche y le escribí a usted.”
Creo que esta relación es directa y primordial para el desarrollo del relato ya desde la primera frase del libro y que contiene uno de los comienzos más emblemáticos de la literatura mundial. La pesadilla de la que cree despertar Gregor luego de ese sueño intranquilo se hace realidad y no puede volver atrás su nueva condición: es un monstruoso insecto.
Está condenado y los verdaderos ejecutores son los integrantes de su propia familia.
Imposibilitado de defenderse, Gregor Samsa pierde su batalla de la misma manera que Kafka perdió la suya sufriendo otra metamorfosis: la de un muchacho sano y joven que nadaba en su Praga natal allá por 1903 en la de un tuberculoso, agonizando en la cama de un hospital de Viena en los primeros días de junio de 1924.
En otro pasaje de las tantas cartas que le escribiera a Mílena Kafka dice: "No puedo hacerte comprender, no puedo hacer comprender a nadie lo que ocurre dentro de mí. ¿Cómo podría explicar por qué ocurre lo que está ocurriendo? Ni siquiera puedo explicármelo a mí mismo. Pero tampoco es esa la razón principal. La razón principal es evidente: es imposible llevar una vida humana cerca de mí."
"La metamorfosis" es uno de esos claros ejemplos en el que realidad y ficción van de la mano.
Profile Image for Nicole.
268 reviews34 followers
December 4, 2013
Gregor waking up one morning as a bug was a hilarious analogy of the effects an illness can have on someone, as well as on those who are close to him. Though the underlying story behind the hilarity of the analogy was anything but funny. I took it as more of a warning of what NOT to do when a loved-one is afflicted by some unfortunate disease or circumstance. I found his resistance of acknowledging to himself that he had become a bug in the beginning of the story to be very interesting. When he couldn't ignore his state any longer, he looked to others' reactions as to how he would look at his own condition. As he was trying to unlock his bedroom door to let his parents and supervisor in, he thought,

"If they took fright, then Gregor would have no further responsibility and could rest in peace. But if they took it all calmly, then he had no reason to get excited either and he could, if he hurried, actually be at the station by eight."

The reaction of those around him, and most importantly, those of his closest loved-ones, is what influenced his own attitude towards himself and his own state. He became completely ashamed of himself, striving to completely hide himself from view, though it took great effort and pain on his part to do so. His imprisonment, or rather, his confinement from the company of others, had a devastating affect upon his mental well-being and in turn, affected his physical well-being. Such a sad story and the fact that his family didn't feel remorse for their actions, but relief for themselves at his death... I don't believe Kafka was trying to say this is how humans are indubitably, even though most of them try to put on a show of galantry and higher morals. But that humans certainly can become some of the most self-serving, self-centered creatures on Earth. It serves as a warning to us all that while it is good to allow others to serve us from time to time, it is far better to always serve others. Gregor's family had all become accustomed to being taken care of by him. They didn't even mind that he was held in servitude to pay off their debts. This was made evident when the fact was made known that Gregor's father had been saving up extra money earned by Gregor, when it could have been used to pay for his freedom much sooner. Gregor, on the other hand, had been serving his family and loved them purely because of it. His first thought was not of himself, but of the hardship his condition would cause his family.

So lest we fall into such an ugly state of existence, let us guard ourselves by serving those we love, thus loving more those we serve.
Profile Image for Adina.
827 reviews3,226 followers
March 1, 2019
4* for the novella + 1* for Benedict Cumberbatch narration ( I adore his voice).

A family (mother, father and sister) are forced to become responsible and find jobs when the son, the sole provider of the family, has a sort of a disease and cannot work anymore. As he becomes useless he is marginalized and despised. I almost forgot, the disease is that the son wakes up in the morning as a cockroach.

Methamorphosis is considered one of the best books ever written which is quite remarkable considering its size. To succeed to have such an impact in a few pages is an accomplishment. At a first glance it is the story of Gregor Samsa, who wakes up transformed as a vermin and becomes treated like one by the family. As with great literature, and with Kafka in particular, there is more than meets the eye.

Some of the themes that come to my mind (and some that I read in other reviews) are:
- What happens when a person is no longer sociable acceptable and it becomes marginalized
- The novel can be seen as a critic of discrimination or
- Kafka’s own existential suffering and his alienation from the world ( I think some reading about Kafka’s life is needed to better understand his work).
- A fable of Jews’ condition

For a better and more in depth analysis of the novella please check Vladimir Nabokov’s contribution: http://www.kafka.org/index.php?id=191...
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,594 followers
May 19, 2023
- "التحول"، افضل ترجمة ممكنة لهذه الرواية، اقرب بكثير من "المسخ" او "الدودة" او غيرها من الترجمات لأنها تضرب صلب الرواية مباشرة: فهذه الرواية ليست فانتازيا ولا خيال علمي ولا كوميك بل هي في صلب فلسفة كافكا للعلاقات الإنسانية، تباينها، تحولها وتغرّبها...

- "جريجور" الشاب المثابر، النشيط، البار والمعيل لعائلته، الذي لا يكل ولا يمل في سبيلهم (ام واب واخت) والذي لديه تطلعات لحياة كريمة يعيشونها.. يستيقظ فإذ به قد تحول الى "حشرة" او "مسخ"، فيصطدم بنفور اهله واحد مسؤولي عمله، فيقبع في غرفته، في الظلام، تحت الكنبة وتبدأ القصة والمعاناة والإهمال والتنصّل من المشاعر، واللامبالاة فالإستغناء فتمني العدم من اجل اكمال الحياة (الأهل) فالنهاية الأليمة والمتوقعة....

- هل نحن بحاجة لنتحول لحشرات كي ندرك ما كتبه كافكا؟! بالتأكيد لا، فالإنسان بطبعه ناكر للجميل ومتكيّف مع المتغيرات الا ما رحم ربي، فالأب الذي يرميه ابناؤه على الطريق بعد ان كد وتعب طوال عمره هو هذه الحشرة، والأم التي ترمى اكراماً لزوجة هي تلك الحشرة، والأخت والأخ....

- سلّط كافكا الضوء على ما نريد ان نفعله ولا يمكننا فعله، او لا تخولنا قدراتنا الجسدية من فعله، وهذا ربما ما يتوافق مع المثل العربي (العين بصيرة واليد قصيرة)

- وجّه كافكا النقد ايضاً للنظام الرأسمالي الذي لا يهمه سوى العمل والعمل، بغض النظر عن صحة العامل ورأيه وتعبه، كما سلّط الضوء على المجتمع الرأسمالي والعلاقات المبنية على المنفعة، وكيف تنقطع العلاقة بسقوط المنفعة.

النقطة الرائعة التي وجدتها هي محاولة "جريجور" التعلق بإنسانيته ومنع امه من انتزاع صورته عن الحائط كمحاولة لإبقاء الرابط ما بينه وما بين الإنسانية رغم عبثية هذا الرابط... وهذا الرابط يمكن ان نعاينه بتعلق كبار السن بماضيهم او تعلق الجندي ببزته العسكرية بعد التقاعد او او ...

- اخيراً، لماذا اختار كافكا الدودة التي تتحول لفراشة؟ لما لم يختر حشرة اخرى! اهو للقول بتحرر الروح وانطلاق الفراشة!؟ ام للقول برغم المآسي فقد يأتي الجميل من القبيح... لا ادري
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 2, 2021
Die Verwandlung = The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis is a novella written by Franz Kafka which was first published in 1915.

One of Kafka's best-known works, The Metamorphosis tells the story of salesman Gregor Samsa who wakes one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a huge insect and subsequently struggling to adjust to this new condition.

The novella has been widely discussed among literary critics, with differing interpretations being offered.

The Hunter Gracchus is a short story by Franz Kafka.

The story presents a boat carrying the long-dead Hunter Gracchus as it arrives at a port.
The mayor of Riva meets Gracchus, who gives him an account of his death while hunting, and explains that he is destined to wander aimlessly and eternally over the seas.

An additional fragment presents an extended dialogue between Gracchus and an unnamed interviewer, presumably the same mayor.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در سال 1974 میلادی؛ بار دیگر: روز دهم ماه نوامبر سال 1995 میلادی

عنوان: مسخ: نوشته: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: صادق هدایت؛ کتاب در قطع جیبی و شامل داستانهای: «مسخ»؛ «گراکوس شکارچی»؛ «شمشیر»؛ «در کنیسه ما»؛

نخستین ترجمه فارسی این اثر، از متن «فرانسه» به قلم روانشاد «صادق هدایت» منتشر شد؛ سپس ترجمه ی بانو «فرزانه طاهری» در سال1358هجری خورشیدی، توسط انتشارات نیلوفر آمد، که از متن انگلیسی ترجمه شده بود، و انتشار یافت؛ ترجمه ی دیگری را نیز، جناب «علی اصغر حداد» از متن اصلی، و از زبان «آلمانی»، ترجمه کرده اند، که نشر ماهی منتشر کرده است

مَسخ داستان کوتاهی، از «فرانتس کافکا» است؛ که در ماه اکتبر سال 1915میلادی، در «لایپزیگ»، به چاپ رسید؛ «مسخ» از مهمترین آثار ادبیات فانتزی سده بیستم میلادی است، که در دانشکده‌ ها، و آموزشگاه‌ های ادبیات سراسر جهان غرب، تدریس می‌شود

داستان درباره ی فروشنده ی جوانی، به نام «گرگور سامسا» است؛ که یک روز صبح، از خواب بیدار، و متوجه می‌شود، که به یک حشره ی نفرت‌ انگیز بدل شده است؛ برهان مسخ «سامسا»، در طول داستان بازگو نمی‌شود، و خود «کافکا» نیز، هیچگاه در مورد آن شرحی نداده اند؛ لحن روشن، و دقیق و رسمی نویسنده در این کتاب، تضادی حیرت انگیز با موضوع کابوس‌وار داستان دارد؛ «ولادیمیر ناباکوف»، در مورد این داستان، گفته است: «اگر کسی مسخ کافکا را، چیزی بیش از یک خیال‌پردازی حشره‌ شناسانه بداند، به او تبریک می‌گویم، چون به صف خوانشگران خوب و بزرگ پیوسته است»؛ مترجم مسخ باور دارد، که «گرگور سامسا» در واقع، کنایه‌ ای از شخصیت خود نویسنده (کافکا) است

نقل از متن پشت کتاب: (نویسندگان کمیابی هستند، که برای نخستین بار، سبک و فکر و موضوع تازه ای را، به میان میکشند، به خصوص معنی جدید میآورند؛ که پیش از آنها وجود نداشته است. کافکا یکی از هنرمندترین نویسندگان این دسته، به شمار میآید.؛ خواننده ای که با دنیای کافکا سر و کار پیدا میکند، در حالیکه خرد و خیره شده، به سویش کشیده میشود.؛ همینکه از آستانه ی دنیایش گذشت، تأثیر آنرا در زندگی خود حس میکند، و پی میبرد، که دنیا آنقدر هم بن بست نبوده است.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 26/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 10/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,423 reviews3,377 followers
May 31, 2021
Some modern personal transformations are no less dramatic than those immortalized by Ovid
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.

On turning into the loathsome insect, Gregor Samsa actually acquired his authentic essential nature – his body just had come into accordance with his inner insectival self. In his new shape, his parents had no sympathy for him and for his sister he has become a kind of a pet.
Strange may it seem but Gregor’s metamorphosis had set his family free – everyone became more independent and his kin began to feel that they have some obligations.
Gregor drew his head back from the door and lifted it to look at his father. Truly, this was not the father he had imagined to himself; admittedly he had been too absorbed of late in his new recreation of crawling over the ceiling to take the same interest as before in what was happening elsewhere in the flat, and he ought really to be prepared for some changes. And yet, and yet, could that be his father? The man who used to lie wearily sunk in bed whenever Gregor set out on a business journey; who welcomed him back of an evening lying in a long chair in a dressing gown; who could not really rise to his feet but only lifted his arms in greeting, and on the rare occasions when he did go out with his family, on one or two Sundays a year and on high holidays, walked between Gregor and his mother, who were slow walkers anyhow, even more slowly than they did, muffled in his old greatcoat, shuffling laboriously forward with the help of his crook-handled stick which he set down most cautiously at every step and, whenever he wanted to say anything, nearly always came to a full stop and gathered his escort around him? Now he was standing there in fine shape; dressed in a smart blue uniform with gold buttons, such as bank messengers wear; his strong double chin bulged over the stiff high collar of his jacket; from under his bushy eyebrows his black eyes darted fresh and penetrating glances; his onetime tangled white hair had been combed flat on either side of a shining and carefully exact parting.

Nonentity’s tragedy was just his own tragedy and when he disappeared, everyone could breathe easy.
It makes me wonder how many paltry insects are really hiding behind human masks.
Profile Image for Glenn Russell.
1,356 reviews11.8k followers
March 1, 2022

Kafka’s classic tale written in 1912 is about the changes that can come about in our lives. Up until the very end, the entire tale takes place in an apartment of a mother, father, son and daughter. The son is unfortunately unable to continue to perform his job as a traveling salesman and support his family financially. This abrupt change forces the father, mother and daughter to exert more energy in their lives and take steps to earn money. Here is a word about each member of the family:

The Father – At the beginning of the tale he is too worn out to even stand up straight and walk across the apartment without pausing. At the end, he stands up straight, combs his white hair neatly, wears a uniform smartly in his new job working for a bank and can take charge of family situations and challenges with authority.

The Mother – At the outset, she is weak and helpless. At the end, she does the household cooking and helps support her family through taking in sewing.

The Daughter – A wan stay-at-home at the beginning and a healthy out-in-the-world worker at the end. At the very end, this 17 year-old blossoms into an attractive young lady, a real catch for some lucky guy.

This Kafka tale is, in some important ways, the forerunner of such books as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Of course, what I've written above is tongue-in-cheek. Not to be taken seriously!

Review of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka ---- Take 2

If I didn’t write this ‘Take 2’ I suspect my book review would be the first in nearly 100 years not to mention Gregor wakes up transformed into an enormous bug. Since there already so many reviews posted, I’d like to offer several brief observations:

• What is it about our attempt to maintain the status quo? Gregor is transformed into a monstrous verminous bug and all he and his mother and father and sister can ask is: ‘How can we change things back to how they were?’.

• The objective 3rd person narrator lets us know directly that although Gregor’s body has transformed, he still has his human mind with its memories. Why does his family assume Gregor lost his human mind? If they wanted, they could simply ask him questions to find out. For example, ‘Gregor, if you can understand what I am saying, move over to the right side of your room’. This speaks volumes about how people are too narrow in their thinking to deal with life creatively and with imagination.

• What adds to the eeriness of Kafka tale is Gregor’s metamorphosis is in stark contrast to the humdrum regularity of the family in their apartment. The possible exception is the absurdist scene at the beginning where Gregor’s manager knocks on the door and insists on knowing why Gregor missed the early morning train. This combination of these opposites is a stroke of genius.

• The most insightful review of this Kafka tale I’ve read is from Vladimir Nabokov ------ http://www.kafka.org/index.php?id=191.... Nabokov adjudged Kafka’s tale the greatest novel of the 20th century behind Joyce’s Ulysses.
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
851 reviews5,834 followers
June 15, 2021
It was no dream.

Gregor Samsa awakes one day, changed forever. How unpredictable is life, one moment leading to a new labyrinth of existence where forward is the only motion available, our scars and choices following us in a tuneless parade with few interested spectators. Despite our lives being a personal struggle, it is constantly judged, criticized and appraised by all those whom we encounter. Oh, the injuries we inflict upon one another. We alienate and assume instead of communicate, we fear differences and we yell when we should love. Strange how the ones we love tend to be the ones we hurt, or hurt us the most. Kafka’s classic story The Metamorphosis is an alarming tale of alienation and hurt that seems fantastical on the outside to house a bitter pill of reality that has roots in us all. What is most compelling about Kafka is his ability to construct a tale from personal anxiety and injury that broadcasts as a universal message to all that read it, honing in on the guilt, loneliness and frustration in every heart. Gregor’s terrifying tale of transformation is a powerful rendition of guilt and the failure to succeed in a father’s eyes that utilizes religious imagery and fantastical occurences to drive the knife into the reader’s heart and soul.

Gregor lives a life of solemn servitude to his job and, most importantly, his family. His job is a necessity to support a family whose debts accrued by the now-unemployed father are being repaid by the fruits of Gregor’s labor. While Gregor has provided the family with a modest home which he shares with them, the debt seems an unquenchable burden he can never fulfill. In the original German, the word schuld means both ‘debt’ and ‘guilt’¹, a critical texture to the text ironed away by translation that opens a gateway of understanding Gregor’s father issues. There is the guilt at being unable to satisfy the father, to live up to the father, and the senior Samsa is a quick tempered man. Kafka struggled with a strained relationship with his own abusive father, a struggle that he transformed into a literary theme permeating much of his artistic output. Much of Kafka’s life soaks into this work, much like the constant slamming doors he often complained of in his own household with his family.

Despite his transformation, what initially upsets Gregor most is that he is missing work. I felt this sting deep within myself, being the head of a household and barely making ends meet despite long hours. The burden of the working class is to be so dependant on a job as life-blood creating a system of guilt and depraved necessity that pulls us from bed to work despite any affliction; we must work, we must provide, we must survive. To stumble is to die, yet even staggering onward seems just a slow suicide climbing towards an unattainable surface from our pit of existence. Gregor feels this, the reader feels this, and Kafka’s magic has been unleashed. To fail to work is yet another failure in the eyes of the obdurate father, but also in a society that is built to enrich the upper classes on the blood and sweat of the working class and at their expense. At its very core, this story is a critique of capitalism and the absurdities of upholding such a system.

The father and the Father seem united in the character of the elder Samsa. Kafka himself struggled with his Jewish identity, made plain in his diaries. As Vladimir Nabokov points out in his exquisite lectures on The Metamorphosis², the number three is pivotal to the understanding of the story.
The story is divided into three parts. There are three doors to Gregor’s room. His family consists of three people. Three servants appear in the course of the story. Three lodgers have three beards. Three Samsas write three letters.
Three, of course, representing the Holy Trinity (there are many other important details surrounding three, such as the clock tower striking three after Gregor retreats into his room, or Gregor standing on his three hind legs since the fourth was damaged beyond repair). The rejection and unfulfillment of the father is also Gregor’s failure to be valuable in the eyes of the Father, God, and perhaps this may be the cause of the unexplained (and rather unquestioned for the most part) transformation that has befallen the poor man. The fatal blow pinning Gregor to the ground like a crucified Christ (while this may be a slight stretch, there are other Christ-like references such as the sudden pain in Gregor's side much like the spear in the side while on the cross) is an Edenic apple thrown from the father, rotting and festering in him like our sins until we breath our last.

All language is but a poor translation,’ said Kafka, made evident in Gregor’s failure to communicate in his new form. Communication is the cornerstone of understanding others, and being stripped of his voice severs his link to his family and humanity. ‘That was the voice of an animal,’ the office chief exclaims after Gregor attempts to communicate with them through language. With his loss of language, his family slowly ceases to view him as Gregor but as a dumb beast, easing them into letting go of their notions that he is still Gregor. He is now an unproductive, dumb hindrance to their lives and they begin to forget him and move on to a productive life of work and family without him. It is like an invalid aging relative, many continue to care for them out of respect for their memory, but the person slowly becomes a chore or a burden and not a human-being in their minds. Another view of Gregor in his new state is that of a person stricken by crushing depression or other mental or emotional ailments where those around them begin to view them by their illness and not their soul. They forget the person that is still there, the person they know and love, and dwell on the chasm forged between them. It is human nature, it makes it easier to cope. How many people walk away when times get tough, even abandon the ones they love because it is easier to convince yourself they are not the person you loved than it is to fight for them or fight for what was once had. Kafka’s genius is that he took a personal experience and related it as a universal parable with endless interpretations, each unique and equally valid as they blossom within each respective reader.

Rereading this story was a rewarding experience and I very much connected with it. Gregor was a traveling businessman, and I am a traveling delivery driver. The musings on the plight and unique depression of long hours in strange faraway places hit home, as well as the notion from everyone else that traveling in such a manner is some royal treat. Granted, I greatly enjoy the work and the freedom of being, essentially, a professional vagrant, yet there is a tinge of alienation being a person without an anchor, always on the move, always chasing a horizon. The feelings of guilt, of alienation, the struggles with family, everything range true plucking my heartstrings like a guitar to form a foreboding yet fantastic melody. Kafka is as relevant to the modern reader as he was in his own time with themes that illuminate us with their timeless insight into society and the individual.


I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.

¹ There is an interesting article recently published by the BBC on ‘the German’s debt psyche’ and the cultural relationship between debt and guilt stemming from the word schuld.

² There is a wonderful film adaptation of Nabokov’s lectures with Christopher Plummer as Nabokov. You can watch it here.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.4k followers
May 13, 2020
there was a trend going around on tiktok for a while where girls would ask their boyfriends, ‘if i were a worm, would you still date me?’ those girls are literally this MC, except gregor samsas tiktok would be him asking his family, ‘if i were an insect, would you still love me?’ and the answer is a hard NO.

at face value, i found this to be a rather weird and super depressing story. and this book is a perfect example of why i have such a love/hate relationship with stories that are considered classics. i read for entertainment, so i generally prefer not having to analyse the text in order to get a full understanding of the story. and this is one that requires deep analysis. gosh, any reader could spend hours trying to interpret this novella. religiously, psychologically, socially - all are different interpretations this story could take. not to mention the influence of different translations. but i found that i just didnt care enough about the story to put in all that effort.

maybe one day i will take the time to figure out what it all truly means. if i do, i have no doubt i will be able to appreciate this story more, like many other readers. but as of right now, im just not in the mood.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Mohammed  Ali.
475 reviews1,095 followers
August 17, 2017
القراءة الثانية لهذه القصة الرائعة .

تقرير من إحدى الجرائد :

في الساعة الثانية من يوم الخميس الماضي و جد العاملون في أحد المناجم الخاصة لإستخراج الفحم جثة متعفنة، و بعد استخراجها بصعوبة و سط الروائح النتنة المتجمعة في ذلك المكان تحت سطح الأرض و نقلها خارج المنجم تعرف أحد العاملين على الجثة. و هي تعود للعامل رقم 536 المدعو (....) من (....) .و هو شخص في الأربعينيات من عمره . صرح أحد العاملين على أن هذه الحوادث و الوفيات تحدث باستمرار ..لأن الملاك ينظرون إلى العاملين على أنهم.. حشرات ..خلقت لتس��غل

محاولة انتحار فاشلة :

شهدت دار المسنين أو ما يسمى بالمركز الوطني للتكفل بالعجائز و الشيوخ حادثة غريبة .. حيث قام أحد المسنين بعملية انتحار عبر شنق نفسه، و لكن العملية فشلت بعد التدخل السريع من طرف أحد عمال النظافة . و يروي صديق هذا العجوز أن المدعو (....) كان يعاني من ضغوط نفسية رهيبة جراء إلتحاقه بهذا المركز .. فهو في الماضي كان رجلا نشيطا .. غنيا نوعا ما .. فعالا في مجتمعه .. لا يتوقف عن الحركة .. و لكنّه وجد نفسه في آخر عمره منبوذا داخل هذا النوع من المراكز .و أضاف العجوز على أن صديقه كان يعتقد بأنه.. حشرة منبوذة .. حشرة استغني عنها عند أول إشارة ضعف .. حشرة قدمت الغالي و النفيس لمجتمعها و لكن قابلها المجتمع بالنبذ و الإبعاد .

مقطع من فيلم صرخة نملة :

- انا نمله إتخلقت علشان كل واحد يدوس عليها..
- نغير الهتاف من تسقط الحكومه الي " إحنا النمل فين السكر"
- رجل الأمن ينصح : تعيش نمله تاكل سكر

تقرير من المنظمة العالمية لحقوق الإنسان :

أفادت إحدى الدراسات الحديثة عن تأثير الحروب على الإنسان ليس جسديا أو نفسيا فقط .. بل هو أعمق من هذا بكثير، فهو
يؤثر على الروح و يلامسها، تلك الروح التي تشعر في زمن الحروب باللاجدوى الناتجة عن حب الحياة و التمسك بها .. فالنقيض يولد النقيض أحيانا . كما أفادت هذه الدراسات على أن الجنود .. أي الطبقة الأخيرة و الدرجة السفلى من سلم المراتب في الجيش تكثر فيهم ظاهرة الإنتحار، نتيجة شعورهم بأنهم بيادق في أيدي كبار القواد , حشرات يزج بها في حروب لا ناقة لهم فيها و لا جمل .

مقتطفات من إحدى الخطب :

إن الوضع العربي الراهن انتقل من مرحلة الخرفان و النعاج أي كما قال أنشتاين " لكي يتمكن المرء من أن يكون عضوا مثاليا في قطيع الغنم، فإن عليه أن يكون على الأقل نعجة " إلى مرحلة الحشرات.. نعم إننا اليوم حشرات تداس بالأقدام و تستهدف بالنعال .. إننا اليوم حشرات وجودها ضار بالنسبة لهم .. فهم يتمنون منا أن نسحق و نبيد عن آخرنا .

إقتباس من رواية :

حين أفاق غريغور سامسا ذات صباح من أحلام مزعجة، وجد نفسه و قد تحول في فراشه إلى حشرة ضخمة

ملاحظة و إستنتاج :

حين أفاق عامل المنجم .. حين أفاق المسن .. حين أفاق الجندي .. حين أفاق المواطن العربي .. حين أفاق الخادم في المنزل .. حين أفاق الفقير المعوز.. ذات صباح و جدوا أنفسهم و قد تحولوا في فراشهم إلى حشرات ضخمة .


الإنسان الحشرة..الموضوع واحد في العالم كله

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تحس فجأة أنك تلقيت ضربة على الرأس بعد قراءة هذه القصة .. لا .. لم تعد كما كنت .. لست أنت .. لم تعد أنت..هنالك شيئ ما تغير..لا أدري ربما نظرة..ربما إحساس .. شعور .. وجهة نظر .. تعريف..لا أدري و لن تدري .. هذا هو كافكا و كتاباته التي هزت العالم .

" آه يا إلهي إنها وظيفة منهكة، الطواف في البلاد يوما بعد يوم .إن إزعاجات هذا العمل أكبر من إزعاجات العمل في المحل الأصلي، و فوق كل ذلك فرض علي عناء السفر و هناك الخوف من عدم اللحاق بالقطارات، و هناك وجبات الطعام الرديئة و الغير منتظمة، و الإتصالات الإنسانية المتبدلة دائما، غير متواصلة أبدا، و التي لا تصبح ودية قط فليأخذ ( الشيطان ) ذلك كله "

" علي أن أجمع المال .. كي أسدد له دين الوالدين، أعلم أن هذا يستغرق خمس أو ست سنوات أخرى حتى أقوم بذلك على أي حال "

" بالرغم أن غريغور أصبح فيما بعد يكسب من المال ما جعله يتحمل نفقات الأسرة بكاملها، و تحملها أيضا . و قد اعتادوا ذلك، غريغور و الأسرة كان هو يعطي المال بسرور، و هم يقبلونه بعرفان، و لكن شعوراخاصا بالدفء لم يشأ أن ينشأ لحد الآن . "

استلقى غريغور على سريره منهكا .. متألما من كثرة المشي .. يعاني من ألم في بطنه بسبب وجبة رديئة .. استلقى و هو يفكر في كل تلك الأمور .. الدين .. العمل .. موعد القطارات الصباحية .. المبيعات .. حال الأسرة .. الخوف من التقلبات .. التعب .. الطعام .. التحاق اخته بمعهد الفنون .. الناس .. و بينما هو في تلك الحالة و ذلك العالم .. عالم ما قبل النوم ..تصور نفسه كحشرة ضخمة .. تؤدي عملها الروتيني اليومي دون مشاعر .. نام .. و عندما استيقظ وجد نفسه و قد تحول إلى حشرة أو وجد نفسه كما يعرفها جيدا حشرة ضخمة .
حين ندخل إلى ذات أنفسنا، للقاء معها، ما يبقى خارجنا هو الحيوان: جملة أعضاء الدابة التي تمشي تحتنا دون أن تكون نحن فحين ننام نحن نترك أجسادنا خارجنا. ولا نحمل معنا شيئًا إلى الداخل، غير ذواتنا.

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حشرة في عالم إنساني .. أم إنسان في عالم الحشرات أضحى غريغور و أصبح بعد استيقاظه ؟؟
بين جدران غرفته يغترب وحده .. و لكن ما الجديد في ذلك و ما الغرفة و العالم أجمع سوى حدود وهمية .. فهو قبل هذا كان وحيدا تماما في الشارع في المحطة .. في الفنادق الرخيصة .. في العمل .

hebergeur d image

يجب أن نتخلص منه .. هكذا صرخت الأخت وانتحبت .. من منا قادر على الإهتمام به.. أنا لا أستطيع الإحتمال و أنت يا أمي لا تستطعين الإحتمال و أنت يا أبت لا تستطيع الإحتمال .. كلنا لا نستطيع الإحتمال..نحن أسرة منهكة .. فقيرة ..
من منا قادر على الإهتمام بغريغور اهتماما يزيد ولو ذرة واحدة على المقدار الضروري ؟

hébergeur image gratuit

مات غريغور.. كما ماتت مشاعر الآخرين اتجاهه .. كما ماتت عاطفتهم و صبرهم .. كما ماتت إنسانيتهم .


مات غريغور.. أو .. لم يمت لأنه مازال حيا في أسر كثيرة في هذا العالم..
لأن الموضوع واحد في العالم كله

غريغور سامسا لم يمت..بل مازال حيا في أسر كثيرة من هذا العالم..بل هو موجود داخلنا و إن اختلفت درجات وجوده ووضوحها..غريغور سامسا ما هو إلا أنا و أنت .


كافكا واحد من أعظم الكتاب في العالم .
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 1, 2021
Die Verwandlung und Der Jäger Gracchus = The Metamorphosis and The Hunter Gracchus, Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis is a novella written by Franz Kafka which was first published in 1915.

One of Kafka's best-known works, The Metamorphosis tells the story of salesman Gregor Samsa who wakes one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a huge insect and subsequently struggling to adjust to this new condition.

The novella has been widely discussed among literary critics, with differing interpretations being offered.

The Hunter Gracchus is a short story by Franz Kafka.

The story presents a boat carrying the long-dead Hunter Gracchus as it arrives at a port.

The mayor of Riva meets Gracchus, who gives him an account of his death while hunting, and explains that he is destined to wander aimlessly and eternally over the seas.

An additional fragment presents an extended dialogue between Gracchus and an unnamed interviewer, presumably the same mayor.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1974میلادی؛ بار دیگر: روز دهم ماه نوامبر سال 1995میلادی

عنوان: مسخ و گراکوس (گراچوس) شکارچی؛ نوشته: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: صادق هدایت؛ کتاب در قطع جیبی و شامل داستانهای: (مسخ؛ گراکوس شکارچی؛ شمشیر؛ در کنیسه ما)؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان آلمان - سده 20م

نخستین ترجمه فارسی این اثر از متن «فرانسه» به قلم روانشاد «صادق هدایت» منتشر شد؛ سپس ترجمه بانو «فرزانه طاهری» در سال1358هجری خورشیدی، توسط انتشارات «نیلوفر»، که از متن انگلیسی ترجمه شده بود، انتشار یافت؛ ترجمه ی دیگری نیز از جناب «علی اصغر حداد» را، که از متن اصلی و از زبان «آلمانی» ترجمه شده، نشر «ماهی» منتشر کرده است؛

داستان کوتاه «مَسخ» اثر «فرانتس کافکا» است؛ که نخستین بار در ماه اکتبر سال 1915میلادی، در «لایپزیگ» به چاپ رسید؛ «مسخ» از مهمترین آثار ادبیات فانتزی سده ی بیستم میلادی است، که در دانشکده‌ ها و آموزشگاه‌های ادبیات سراسر جهان غرب، تدریس می‌شود؛

داستان، در مورد فروشنده ی جوانی به نام «گرگور سامسا» است؛ که یکروز صبح از خواب بیدار، و متوجه می‌شود، که به یک مخلوق نفرت‌ انگیز حشره‌ مانند، تبدیل شده است؛ دلیل «مسخ» شدن «سامسا»، در طول داستان بازگو نمی‌شود، و خود «کافکا» نیز، هیچگاه در مورد آن توضیحی ندادند؛ لحن روشن، دقیق، و رسمی نویسنده در این کتاب، تضادی حیرت انگیز، با موضوع کابوس‌وار داستان دارد؛

ولادیمیر ناباکوف، در مورد این داستان گفته است: (اگر کسی «مسخ» «کافکا» را چیزی بیش از یک خیال‌پردازی حشره‌ شناسانه بداند، به او تبریک می‌گویم، چون به صف خوانشگران خوب، و بزرگ پیوسته است.)؛

مترجم فرانسوی «مسخ» باور دارد که: («گرگور سامسا»، در واقع کنایه‌ ای از شخصیت خود نویسنده «کافکا» است؛

نقل از متن پشت جلد کتاب: (نویسندگان کمیابی هستند که برای نخستین بار، سبک و فکر و موضوع تازه ای را به میان میکشند، به خصوص معنی جدید میآورند؛ که پیش از آنها وجود نداشته است؛ «کافکا» یکی از هنرمندترین نویسندگان این دسته به شمار میآیند؛ خوانشگری که با دنیای «کافکا» سر و کار پیدا میکند، در حالیکه خرد و خیره شده، باز هم به سویش کشیده میشود؛ همین که از آستانه ی دنیایش گذشت، تأثیر آن را در زندگی خود ��یز حس میکند، و پی میبرد، که دنیا آنقدر هم بن بست نبوده است.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 12/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 09/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,615 followers
October 22, 2018
Arabic/English Review
First read I got the impression; pretty disgusted yet very sad
قرائتي الأولي لها شعرت بشئ من الحزن والكثير من القرف والاشمئزاز

Second read,more emotional & sympathy for Kafka Samsa
القراءة الثانية شعرت بمشاعر حزن أكثر..وتعاطف مع كافكا,أقصد سامسا

هي قصة تقرأها..تشعر به..وتعيد قرائتها
لذا قرأتها لمرة ثالثة وأخيرة وكم شعرت بالحزن والاكتئاب

تخيل أنك كنت العائل الوحيد لأسرتك، ثم أصبحت عاجزا وعبئا علي تلك الأسرة
لمجرد انك صرت بحالة جعلتك...غريب الأطوار
تشتاق للجلوس معهم في الجلسات الاسرية الدافئة الحميمة والتي كان يمنعك عنها دائما عملك وتجوالك لكسب لقمة العيش...والان ومع عجزك وملازمتك المنزل, يمنعك عجزك ومرضك وغرابة اطوارك من نفس الجلسات الاسرية التي افتقدها وانت لست بالمنزل
لأن , تخيل, ان مرضك هذا يجعلك منفرا لهم..كالمسخ

ضع نفسك مكان كافكا ,عذرا, سامسا وانت تقرأ تلك القصة..فهو ايضا كان عمله يجعله بعيدا عن البيت كثيرا لدرجه انه في مذكراته قال ان سفريات عمله منعته من جعل تلك الرواية افضل , أقصد هنا كافكا بالفعل
وكذلك تلك العلاقة المعقدة بينه وبين ابيه من العوامل المشتركة بين كافكا وسامسا بطل الرواية لتشعر انهما فعلا ..واحد

كما ان هناك بعض الأجزاء التي توضح ان غرابته هذه جعلته شخصا افضل نوعا ما, فمثلا هو في النهاية بدأ يتذوق جمال الموسيقي بالرغم من انه لم يكن يجب الموسيقي كثيرا قبل ذلك كما اعترف وهو يفكر بارسال اخته الي الكونسرفتوار

مما يجعلك تشعر انه نوع من انواع المرض النفسي , ربما الأكتئاب من الواقع المظلم والرغبة في مستقبل أكثر جمالا..ومن منا لم يشعر بهذا الأكتئاب وهذه الرغبة؟
هذه الرغبة قد تجعلك فعلا..غريب الأطوار في مثل ذلك العالم المظلم
العمل الشاق الذي ييجرد انسانيتك ويجعلك كمجرد حشرة تسعي للرزق

فحتي الأغلفة التي ظهرت للرواية والتي أشرف عليها كافكا لم يكن بها حتي صورة للحشرة, وإنما للعائلة أو لشخص يخفي وجهه

عاما كل تلك المشاعر شعرت بصدق كتابتها ووجعها وألمها
يجب ان تقرأ بالفعل
بالنسبة للنهاية فعلا شعرت بانها غريبة,كان يمكن ان تكون افضل كما اعترف كافكا نفسه ولكنها تظل ملائمة ورمزية..ويكفي انه شعر باحاسيسه كل من قرأ الرواية..وشعر بمعاناة كافكا

Third read was after all that rant in my edition which I only liked a few of it all- It didn't tell me more than I already 'felt' about the story, some articles add more deep understanding to what I've already understand..but some was OVER-Analyze..may be away of what Kafka wanted to tell...

It's very sad story indeed, imagine that you become a burden on your family for unknowing, incurable sickness ,after you've been the sole support for your family....how you've been 'killing' yourself for bread winning to them..now they even can't look at you probably.

I've read Kafka's letters ,and with some of his real life sad story, He is a Metamorphosis himself...I felt it's not necessary a True Bug, it may be a sickness of the long time traveling and full time working, it may be just nervous breakdown or some other psychological illness..Who knows..It's a story about Feeling for me..that's why by my second reading I've felt more like the second picture I've add at the review..

And note that the original 1916 early edition's cover there's no an Actual Bug ,as well as most of the early ones.
It's a Story about feelings and differences..I won't spoil it for you But read it and try to put yourself in the position of Samsa, and that's very easy since Kafka's writing style here is very easy yet very classic well written.

I felt how much he'd been longing for warm time with the family that hard work always kept him away of that...and then being sick..

I felt how hard for his family to accept him..how they can't stand look at him and felt sorry for them..it's human nature after all..

I felt how this "metamorphosis" progress even made him a bit better from inside, As when he learn how to taste the music -while he mention he didn't like it before- ...how it made him feel more responsible for his family, but can't do a thing now...

I felt very sad for the family..and of course more sorry for him...Samsa / Kafka..

And the rating is up from 3.5 to 4 just because Kafka's admitting -at the extra in this edition- that:
I am now reading The Metamorphosis at jome and find it bad.
"from The Diaries of Franz Kafka. Oct.20, 1913

Well,first read for me I felt it can be better,although I still felt very sad..but I also hate how was the ending at all,the last 4 or 5 pages I get it but it really can be better..well,his admitting that at his diaries made my rating higher.
Great antipathy to "Metamorphosis." Unreadable ending.
Imperfect almost to the foundation. It would have turned out much better if I had not been interrupted at the time by the business trip.
"from The Diaries of Franz Kafka. Jan.19, 1914


Well,Rest in Peace Kafka, your work has been felt by millions of people..
May God Bless your soul.

Mohammed Arabey
From May 31 2014
To June 13 2014

PS : Since I've read a 200 pages edition of a 50 pages only novel, I Know how it feels to read long rant about a novel, It's Kinda boring..So I've tried to make my review short...but couldn't :) sorry
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
457 reviews3,240 followers
December 18, 2019
Gregor Samsa awakes from a bad dream, into a mad nightmare, as he struggles, stuck in his own bed this weary, young traveling salesman, has overnight been miraculously transformed... incredibly Gregor is now a hideous bug, a dung beetle , or even a cockroach does it really matter what ? He has missed his train in more ways than one, but Samsa, is a real trooper, still thinks he can catch the locomotive and make that vile business trip, eventually getting off the bed with great difficulty, just a slight crash, in truth, opening the locked door somehow and moving around on the floor, in his many, new, ugly little legs the parents and sister are greatly shocked, at his new repulsive appearance. And when the office manager arrives to see what happened , big mistake, he spots Samsa and is out the door without a word spoken (twitching a little). Now the "Bug" becomes a burden to his lazy, ungrateful family after years of Gregor supporting them, all by himself (a job he hated, with a big passion), they much embarrassed , hide him in his modest quiet room, feeding the "monstrous vermin", leftover garbage from their table scraps, a menu the bug implausibly prefers...Months pass and it becomes obvious something has to give, the reader will decide is Samsa a real dung beetle, or is he mentally ill? But to some, the gist of the fable is, how much does your family love you? A brutal depiction of a family in tremendous turmoil...expediency triumphs.
Profile Image for Mohammed-Makram.
1,396 reviews3,092 followers
April 6, 2023

يقال ان جاذبية الفراش في الصباح تكون عشرة أضعاف الجاذبية الأرضية. فسواء كنت طالبا أو عاملا أو حتي ربة منزل فلسوف تفعل كل ما تستطيع لتأجيل لحظة مغادرة الفراش صباحا سيما و ان وجدت مفاجأة غير سارة تتمثل في كونك ترقد على ظهرك و ترفص قوائمك الكثيرة المتعلقة في الهواء و ايقنت انك تحولت إلى حشرة عملاقة لها وعيك الإنساني و لكن بمظهرها المنفر للآخرين.

يقول العقاد عن الوظيفة أنها عبودية القرن العشرين و قد كان جريجور بالفعل عبدا للوظيفة رغم أنفه. اضطرته الظروف و هو المستشعر للفنون الحالم بالموسيقى أن يعمل في التجارة ليعول عائلته التي يلتصق ربها بالأريكه و تعاني عميدتها من المرض العضال بينما تحلم صغيرتها بالتحليق في أجواء السعادة و المرح. لم يجد مفر من أن يتدرع بالحمل فوق ظهره كالخنفسه ضاربا بقوائمه الأرض ليبيع الوهم للأخرين و يشتري رفاهية أسرته و لكنه في وعيه الحقيقي و عقله الباطن يكتشف أنه يبيع نفسه بالفعل فيتحول إلى هذا المسخ اللعين لتتطابق الصورة مع المعنى في تناغم نبهنا إليه العبقري كافكا قبل الثورة البلشفية بعدة سنوات و قبل اليوم بأكثر من مائة عام

إذا كانت البدايات تعيسه فالنهايات بالضرورة ليست سعيدة. و في عالم غير سوي و غير عادل و لا منصف نصطدم دائما بالحقيقة عقب كل تمرد و يكون جزاء جريجور هو تنكر الجميع له شيئا فشيئا حتى تغيب لذة الحياة تمهيدا لغياب الحياة نفسها.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,056 reviews1,720 followers
July 8, 2017
مسخ رو معمولاً به عنوان يه اثر فلسفى-اجتماعى ميشناسن، و همين كافيه كه همه ى خصوصيات داستان فراموش بشن و همه ى منتقدها به جای داستان، به مفاهيم پشت داستان توجه كنن. يعنى همه ى زحمات نويسنده براى ساختن پیکره ی داستان فراموش بشه و بر باد بره.
حتماً حتماً "درباره ى مسخ" ناباكوف رو بخونيد، واقعاً ديد جديدى ميده به آدم در زمينه ى نقد ادبى.

داستان بى ترديد در ژانر وحشت طبقه بندى ميشه. فضاى كابوس وار قصه هاى كافكا، محشرن. اين كه يه كابوس مسلّم رو، مياره توى زندگى هر روزه ى ما و با ديدى واقع گرايانه بهش نگاه ميكنه، كه باعث وحشتناك تر شدن قصه ميشه. از اين جهت شايد بشه گفت مبدع "رئاليسم جادويى" به نحوى كافكا بوده؛ خود گابريل گارسيا ماركز، بزرگ ترين نويسنده ى رئاليسم جادويى، ميگه "من با خوندن كافكا فهميدم ميشه جور ديگه اى هم نوشت."

اما مهمه كه بدونيم كافكا، خودش به داستان هاى خودش به عنوان داستان وحشت نگاه نمى كرده. بله، مسخ در نظر كافكا يه داستان "طنز" بوده. وقتى براى ديگران ميخونده يا راجع بهش صحبت مى كرده، بر جنبه هاى طنز داستانش تأكيد داشته. مثل تقلايى كه سوسك قصه، براى به موقع رسيدن به سر كار ميكنه، يا تلاشش براى توضيح علت تأخيرش به مأمور اداره ش يا...
همه ى اين ها، نوعى آميختگى طنز و وحشت ايجاد ميكنه. سوژه ى اصلى وحشته، اما واکنش شخصيت ها و تناقض شديد این واکنش با انتظار ما، پهلو به طنز ميزنه. نه الزاماً طنزى كه قهقهه بزنيد، بلكه ترجيحاً طنزى كه مو رو بر بدنتون سيخ مى كنه. شايد بشه اسمش رو گذاشت "گروتسك" يا "طنز سياه".
Profile Image for Ahmad  Ebaid.
281 reviews1,997 followers
December 16, 2018

He is fool by spending his life to them; nobody would care if he became an ugly Metamorphosis!!

إنه أحمق عندما ينفق حياته على أحد؛ فلن يهتموا به أبداً عندما يصبح مسخاً !!

ولأقولها صريحة، فكل علاقة ينقصها التكافؤ، ستتآكل بالتقادم حتما. سواء كانت الرابطة حب أم صداقة، فمصيرها الزوال بتلاشي احتياجهم لك ولخدماتك. الحب والارتباط هي مجرد مشاعر تعكس رغبات واحتياجات دفينة قد لا نعي بكينونتها بداخلنا.. يعطي الناس معاني مخادعة لاحتياجاتهم المخجلة!.
ولتتعظ ببطل الرواية "جريجور سامسا"، الذي ظل فردا من العائلة حتى أصابه العجز وانقطع عن العمل والكسب، فأصبح بعدها مسخا كالحشرة، وأصبح وجوده مزعجا مقززا..
ربما شعرت الأخت بالمسؤولية والالتزام نحوه؛ "فالعِشرة لا تهون إلا على أولاد الحرام"، ولكن إلى متى؟ إلى متى ستجبر نفسها على خدمته، رغم تقززها ورغم "قلة حيلته"؟
صديقي، إلى متى ستقبل ببناء علاقتك بهم على أساس شفقتهم وبعض مشاعر الالتزام المؤقتة؟!..
صديقي، أنا لا أرتضي لك مثل هذه العلاقة البائسة، فلا ترتضيها أنت لنفسك. ولنتعظ جميعنا من وقائع المسخ "جريجور سامسا"..

Let's declare it directly honestly; that each relationship lacks of equality, would be definitely eroded as time goes by. Whether the bound was LOVE or FRIENDSHIP, its destiny would be a demise as they don't need you anymore. LOVE and ENGAGEMENT are merely feelings that reflect hidden needs and desires we might don't aware of its existence inside us.
People give their impressive needs a trickery terms.

Take a lesson from novel's main character "Gregor Samsa". he was part of the family until he is poor and incapable of working and earning, therefore he became a metamorphosis like a beetle, which is annoying to be exist with them.

May be his sister took responsibility and commitment to him, as they say "Intimacy doesn't be ignored except by sons of Prostitution". but how long? for how long she will force herself to serve him, despite she is disgusted of him and of his deficiency?!!.

My friend, how long will you accept building your relationship with them on their sympathy and kindness, and on their temporary feel of commitment?
My friend, I don't satisfy with such a poor relationship for you, so please, don't be okay with that for yourself.
and let's get a moral of Chronicles of "Gregor Samsa".

Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books906 followers
August 14, 2021
Gregor’s transformation into a bug is no ordinary plight, and yet the fallout of this event is bitterly recognizable. Relatable, even. In fact, I associate myself with Gregor so exactly that it is almost as if Kafka had been writing—in his veiled, symbolic way—about my queer anxieties, just as they are today, in this summer of 2021.

For context, let me briefly address what’s going on in my life before getting into the novel.

I am a thirty-two year old gay man who recently “came out” to his deeply religious family. I use quotes here because I did not so much come out as stop tip-toeing around this aspect of my life. For several years my family has known about my boyfriend and yet believes any recognition of my relationship will “condone” the abominable act. So they pretend he doesn’t exist. Whenever my boyfriend’s name comes up, they turn to ice, go completely silent until the topic moves on to something else. I can return home for a visit, provided I travel alone and never speak of my personal life, otherwise I am not invited.

Having finally grown exhausted of this game, I informed my parents and siblings that if I could not see them with my boyfriend by my side, I simply couldn’t see them anymore. The response was flat “then I guess we won’t see each other for a while.” And by “for a while” the subtext is, until I’m not gay—or at least until I’m not openly gay.

With this dilemma bubbling around in my head, I found it shocking that every detail in Kafka’s bizarre 1915 novel served as a parable for my experience, and indeed many other queer experiences which I haven’t personally encountered. It begins with the image of a locked door.

Gregor’s titular metamorphosis occurs behind closed doors, with his entire family “knock[ing] lightly” from both the main entrance and a side door leading to Gregor’s room. The family understands something is wrong, Gregor is usually quite punctual for work, and his mother makes excuses on his behalf: “‘He is not well, believe me, Mr. Manager…the young man has nothing in his head except business. I’m almost angry that he never goes out at night.”

Meanwhile, the sister goes so far as to “beg” him to come out. The irony is, of course, that once the family gains access to Gregor (and thus Gregor’s secret) they are appalled and close the door again. Such probing accusations—“‘What is wrong? You barricade yourself in your room, give us no more than yes or no for an answer, you are causing serious and unnecessary concern to your parents…’”—have a familiar echo to my own experiences. These translate in my head as “Why are you so quiet? Why don’t you ever pursue that cute girl? What is wrong with you?”

To those on the outside, these seem like ordinary questions capable of ordinary answers. But being inside the locked room, you know these answers will destroy your family relationship. Even slight hints at the truth—such as when Gregor hits his insect head against the door and makes a “small sound”—have the chilling effect of “silenc[ing] everyone.” That queer sound alone is enough for the family to freeze in horror. Not in optimism—is he communicating with us?—but revulsion. Something they do not want shared with third parties. Something they would rather not think about themselves.

The phrase “coming out of the closet” has long been used for revealing one’s sexuality, with some evidence that similar comparisons were used in Kafka’s time. In any case, the closet metaphor serves well because the image of a tightly-spaced room, typically with no light source, accurately represents the stifling, oppressive feeling queer persons feel while hiding from a heterocentric society. The social recuperations of being “seen” are too great a risk.

Existing in a dark space, one is used to eavesdropping, of analyzing how much light can be seen through the keyhole, of vast hope whenever someone accidentally leaves the door open—are they signaling acceptance? Is it safe to come out now?

Gregor similarly finds himself “pressed upright against the door and listening” to his family talk about him to gauge how much he matters to them in his present form. He reads into everything he hears, hoping for signs that he is still part of the family, a “friendly word.”

There's a fleeting moment when the sister enters his room to tidy up and provide food. Feeling optimistic, Gregor makes himself seen—slightly—to test her level of acceptance. Her revulsion assures him the timing is not right, however, so he reverts deeper into his hiding place under the sofa—a closet within a closet. He goes so far as to spend “four hours” “drag[ging] a sheet” over the couch so that his sister does not have to endure seeing “small parts of his body” which “stuck out.”

As a queer person with an unaccepting family, this dance is yet again all too familiar. I have my own sister who I imagine very much views me as a hideous bug; a blight on the family. As time goes on I imagine she will change, that even if my “bugginess” continues to bother her she will choose to accept a bug as family. On the phone, I occasionally push boundaries. When she asks “What did you do this weekend?” I might daringly respond “Me and Ryan went to the movies” to see what happens. So far the reaction has not changed. She still turns to ice, letting the dead silence linger on the line until I inevitably say “What did you do?” so that she can promptly change the subject.

Like Gregor below the sofa, I usually limit my speech to “Nothing really,” or something sufficiently vague, as a courtesy to her so that she doesn’t have to be exposed to the grotesque details of my ordinary life. Or maybe I do it for me. It’s not worth hearing her disgust in that long, hate-filled silence. Either way, I’m a bug hiding beneath a sofa with a sheet draped over it.

That Gregor continues to love his sister, even after she becomes increasingly cruel, is not surprising—I too continue to love my obstinate sister—because there is so much textual evidence to show that the Samsa siblings were particularly close prior to the metamorphosis.

Gregor worked relentless hours to keep his family financially stable. He even set aside extra wages so he could “send [his sister] to the conservatory.” Today we could compare this to paying for her college tuition. Additionally, their names—Gregor and Grete—have a similar ring to them and imply the two are a well-suited pair. Till the bitter end, even after she spearheads a plan to kill him, his sister is the one he trusts and admires most.

Another reason Gregor never condemns his sister’s cruelty is the common queer experience of internalized homophobia. This occurs when queer individuals begin to view themselves as abhorrent because that is how others view them. Lines such as “there was, of course, no question of her ever becoming fully used to the situation” and “[it is] a requirement of family duty to suppress one’s aversion and to endure – nothing else, just endure” and “his mother…was perhaps near death, thanks to him” show a growing ideology that Gregor sees himself as a problem which, in the best of circumstances, can be begrudgingly tolerated and at worst is killing his family.

This internalized homophobia climaxes, as it often does for queer persons, in death. As he lay dying, with “pains throughout his entire body,” Gregor feels “relatively content,” with “deep feelings of love” for his family. Most telling is the line: “his own thought that he had to disappear was, if possible, even more decisive than his sister’s.”

After seeing himself as a burden on his family for so long, the reason for their unhappiness and the hideous creature they see in him, he is ready for his life to end because he feels it will be for the greater good.

Gregor’s death is not a suicide—though his relief in death can certainly be viewed as suicide-esque—but rather the result of a festering wound from an apple that his enraged father threw at him after Gregor un-hid himself in front of his mother, causing her great distress. The “festering wound” is one of the finest symbolic moments to illustrate that Gregor’s death is the result of lingering insult that sticks to the skin (or exoskeleton) long after the initial confrontation. Even Mr. Samsa’s fruit of choice carries the symbolic weight that particularly resonates with my experience growing up in a deeply religious household.

Gregor’s father hurls from a “fruit bowl” and yet, if the bowl contains a variety of fruits, it is only apples used for ammunition. Indeed, “It was an apple” is one of the shortest sentences of the novel, drawing particular attention to itself.

Apples are, of course, most famously associated with original sin in the Garden of Eden. Thus it is impossible for someone like me, whose own father is a Baptist minister, to miss the interpretation that Mr. Samsa’s apple-hurling is effectively calling Gregor’s existence a crime against God. These accusations, common in the queer experience, are also the most “sticky” and hardest to ignore. One can brush off homophobic friends and even, with more difficulty, family, but the belief that your life is an affront to God is—at least for the religious—the wound least likely to heal.

In case the religious implications of the apples are missed, Kafka includes crucifixion imagery in the same scene. After being “bombarded” by apples, Gregor describes feeling “as if he was nailed in place and lay stretched out.” The word choice here is almost certainly an allusion to Jesus hanging on the cross. Furthermore, to once again cement religion as an issue, Mr. Samsa’s reaction to his son’s death is “‘Well…now we can give thanks to God.’”

These references to God at such critical moments stand out like a banner within a queer interpretation. It is so easy to imagine a homophobic family thrilled by such a convenient conclusion to their social problem. For the Samsas, at least, that relief is immediate and apparent.

The blight hidden in their apartment, the thing which hurt them financially and tormented their religious beliefs, is, “thank God,” finally gone. There is no period of mourning, only an immediate desire to “pass that day resting and going for a stroll.” Out in the “open air” and “warm sun” they congratulate themselves on securing alternative sources of income without Gregor and are eager to blot out any memory of his existence.

Again, Kafka breaks my heart with a depiction that is all too familiar to me personally, and queer reality in a broad sense. Some form of disownment continues to be a reality for queer persons from unsupportive families. This is why, out of 1.6 million homeless youth, it is reported that a staggering 40% will identify as LGBT. Though I am independent and cannot be thrown out of doors, my family works hard to “erase” me in other ways, such as tucking away pictures, home movies and other artifacts that may remind my young nephew of my existence. If the family shows any level of support for a gay person, they fear, it could reverse his installed belief that homosexuality is a sin against God.

At this moment, it is worth backtracking to discuss the issue of how we should interpret Gregor in his insect form. I’ve wrote a lot about viewing Gregor as a queer person, but how should we deal with the fictional reality of his being an insect? Should we only see his bug exterior as a metaphor for the queer experience? Or should we ever take the story at face value? That is, that he has literally transformed into a bug? Based on Kafka’s careful word choice, the answer seems to be a bit of both.

Kafka includes many examples where Gregor moves his tiny limbs, creeps about the ceiling, or eats rotten food to assure us that he has, indeed, become a bug. There should be no doubting the reality of that. And yet, it is also interesting that his insect form does not overwhelm the novel. Gregor does not linger on how this metamorphosis happened. At first he thinks he’s dreaming, but after waking up there is scarcely a wonder how this came to be. If I transformed into a bug, I would do nothing but wonder how this happened and how it might be fixed. What did I eat last? What chemicals was I exposed to? Did a witch curse me?

That Gregor does not question this only further illustrates that is aware he is queer and, frankly, always has been. Now the exterior only matches the interior, and the dilemma is in handling that reality.

Neither does Gregor’s family go to any length to uncover the mystery of the metamorphosis. They do not ask, for example, “How did this happen?” or offer any medical assistance—despite there being a hospital right across the street, visible from Gregor’s window. Instead, their primary concerns are getting third parties out of the house so that rumor does not get around.

Kafka further blends the insect issue by making it unclear precisely what bug Gregor has transformed into. Why avoid a line which plainly states “he was a cockroach!” or “he was a ladybug!” — why not make it easier for the reader to picture the protagonist as a specific type of bug? This seems fairly obvious, that Kafka wants the reader to view Gregor as an outcast more than a bug. He wants the reader to read Gregor as a brother and a son, as someone who has been alienated by his own family. There can be some doubt on whether or not Kafka intended the queer implications of his novel—more on that later—but the ambiguous language is certainly meant to make the reader view Gregor as human as possible in his bug form.

Miraculously, Kafka does name a specific type of insect in relation to Gregor, but that insect is so full of innuendo that could also be used as a human insult. The maid, using a tone that “she probably considered friendly” taunts Gregor with such phrases as “‘come on then, you old dung-beetle!’” and “‘Look at the old dung-beetle there!’”

For the queer reader, the interpretation of this scene is a familiar affront of homophobic slurs. Regardless of the maid's tone, she uses the equivalent of such phrases as “fudge-packer” or “poop dick” when she calls him a dung beetle. In her mind she might consider this address as an actual way to build a connection, a way of saying I know what you are, and it’s disgusting, but I’m trying to be your friend. Gregor, of course, like every gay person who’s experienced the exact same thing, does not find this hostility as an effective way to build bridges. So he reverts more, deeper still into his closet within a closet.

By now I hope my argument is convincing that The Metamorphosis can be read as a parable for the queer experience. This naturally leads to the question of authorial intent.

Did Kafka intend to write about the gay experience? Is this the “true” interpretation of the novel that a century of scholars have yet to identify? Maybe, probably not. In truth, it doesn’t matter. It’s certainly possible for a heterosexual to write a canonical queer novel without intending to. Furthermore, the art of masterpieces is often found in their ability to warrant many interpretations.

But textual evidence is so overwhelming, so seemingly personal, that I can’t not dig into Kafka’s life. As it turns out, there are some clues which may readily validate a queer interpretation.

“Kafka had homosexual fantasies, but everyone does,” writes Reiner Stach, one of Kafka's most dedicated biographers. He goes on to argue that it was Kafka’s ability to tap into these subconscious desires which make him such an enduring and brilliant writer.

Max Brod, a close friend of Kafka and the recipient of his estate, described his companion as “tortured by his sexual desires” though he did not clarify if those desires were same-sex.

It is true that Kafka never married, despite finding himself engaged to a number of attractive, eligible women. Yet another Kafka scholar, Saul Friedländer, concluded that the famous author led these women on for social acceptance while he secretly fantasized about men.

It would have been almost cliché for a gay man in the early 1900s to be repeatedly engaged to women before breaking off the wedding last minute. This stereotype alone does not, of course, prove anything. But on the flip side, the knowledge that Kafka attended brothels, presumably for their female entertainment, likewise does not prove an exclusive interest in women. Investing in prostitutes is, in fact, a common “treatment” for homosexuality even today. The methodology seeming to be that once you try heterosexuality you will like it. Perhaps Kafka, riddled with a sense of self-loathing, went to brothels to “fix” himself so he could finally marry one of his many female companions? If you thought of yourself as a crawling, creeping cockroach, what extremes would you go to for a cure?

Recent research into Kafka’s private life has found he subscribed to pornography. This detail is hardly revealing, except that The Metamorphosis possibly alludes to porn. In the memorable scene where Gregor’s family is removing all furnishings from his room, he, in a last ditch effort to preserve at least one personal artifact, crawls upon the wall and presses himself against the picture of “a woman dressed in nothing but fur.” An act which, it is worth noting the sexual phrasing here, “made his hot abdomen feel good.”

One interpretation is that this portrait is merely art, a token of his prior life, however Kafka makes it clear that the removal of furnishings is symbolic of giving up hope on his condition. Mrs. Samsa goes so far as to speak this out loud: “‘…by taking the furniture away, won’t it seem like we’re showing that we’ve given up all hope of improvement and we’re abandoning him to cope for himself?’”

Since this line is spoken it has the ability to influence Gregor’s thinking. The nude art is the thing he chooses to save possibly because he views it as the item most likely bring him back to normal. Again, for the gay man seeking to “change” his sexual orientation, pornographic depictions of women might be seen as medicine.

Of course there are other interpretations. Indeed almost anyone who has ever felt alienated from society, misunderstood, abused, or suffered from some ailment which the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand, can imprint themselves on Gregor’s situation. This is not a fault of the novel, but rather one of its touchstone achievements.

Still, whether intended or not, Kafka’s tragic tableau tells the story of homophobia in society and within the home. As more queer readers respond to this novel and share their personal connections to it, I suspect there will be more recognition of its relevance as a queer literary landmark.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
July 31, 2017
Surreal, inexplicable and unusual, Kafka explores the futility of human existence. Or does he?

Gregor Sansa is turned into a bug and through the process he realises just how insignificant he is, how insignificant we all, ultimately, are in the greater scheme of things. He was his family’s backbone, holding them up, supporting them financially whist they took the easy path. However, when that backbone is removed the unit adapts; it carries on and finds new means of survival. The most important member of the family is swept aside, forgotten about and life continues as it always must. I guess he wasn’t that important after all.

There are so many designs that can be put onto this story, so many interpretations. And this is what Kafka does so well. He leaves you with absolutely nothing, no answers or explanations, only a simple case of this happened and it ended like this. We as readers look for meaning within the narrative because that is how narrative traditionally works. There has to be a point to it all, right? But perhaps that is the point: there is no point. Perhaps by looking too hard we miss what Kafka is trying to say, or not say, with his passive writing.

There are certainly elements of alienation in here, even in the recollections Gregor has before he was turned into a bug. As per the modernist mode, he was isolated from his peers and the world at large. Powerlessness is also another theme that runs through the story. Gregor’s family, and Gregor, cannot stop what is happening. They just have to go on with it and hope to make it through to the other side. A suggestion that no matter how hard we work in life, how much love or success we appear to have, we can be struck down at any moment. Forced into a situation we cannot control, we perish. Such is life.

It would be easy to talk about elements of Kafka’s own biography here, and consider the work’s relevance to events that would eventually happen later in the century, but I think that would be to put too much of a design on the book. His personal feelings about life obviously helped to propel much of his writing. He wrote many strange stories, though Metamorphosis is the most renowned of his work. Utterly compelling, yet bewildering, this isn’t a story that will ever leave the reader. It’s haunting and told with realistic mundanity.

“One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in his bed he had been changed into a monstrous bug…”

Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
October 19, 2017
One morning a young man woke up and decided he didn't want to leave his room. He felt at odds with the world and wished he could opt out of his busy life.

He knew he was unlikely to get away with skipping school, so he thought about how to find a perfect excuse. His eyes fell upon the half-read copy of Kafka's Metamorphosis he had left beside his bed, and was pleased. When his stressed mum banged on the bedroom door and yelled that it was time for breakfast, shower and school, he answered:

"I can't!"

"What kind of nonsense is that?" yelled his mum.

"I have been transformed into a giant insect and can't move my arms and legs! I mean my legs and legs!"

"Ooooohhh please, I don't have time for this stupid game, get out of your room now, and get ready!"

"You can leave, I'll stay here!"

But his mum knew her Kafka well, and was not ready to let go of her eldest son. Vermin or not, he would socialise and be part of the family. And he would go to school.

"Listen!" she yelled at him. "You live in the wrong place and the wrong time! We care about people here in Sweden, no matter what their personal condition is. If you have a minor insectification problem, so be it. I will write and explain to your teacher that you need certain special education tools, and we can find you a hobby that fits your ability as well."

"No! They will bully me."

"Oh no! There is a perfectly functional anti-bullying programme at your school, and you have been working on it yourself!"

"No! I feel weak!"

"Oh forget it! Fresh air is just the right environment for insects! What kind of bug are you anyway?"


"Yes, I thought I could send an email to your grandparents, announcing the change!"


"Your siblings have a right to know as well. Shall I go and get one of those nature books, so you can check for yourself?"

"Mum, you are not going to stay outside my room for the rest of the day, are you? Haven't you got a job to go to?"

"I'll call in sick to take care of my insect son!"

"Can't you just leave me alone?"

"Nope! I'll wait here with an action plan until you open your door and come out! I stick by my children, whatever mess they have gotten themselves into!"

"Okay, I give up! It is impossible to be an isolated, grumpy, neglected insect these days, with all those over-active parents and student care teams buzzing around like annoying flies!"

The young man opened the door, went through his morning rituals, left for school, and did his chores. In the evening, he finished reading Kafka.

"Maybe it's not so bad to live here and now after all", he said, smiling in a truly Kafkaesque way.

The story could be true.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
May 11, 2020

"Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt." - "As Gregor Samsa was waking up one morning from restless dreams, he discovered in his bed that he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug." (my own translation)

This novella starts with a shock, but ignores the "why" and "how" (I don't think anyone in the book ever asked either of those questions) in favor of exploring Gregor's and his family's reactions to the change and how it affects their relationships and their lives. Franz Kafka had a fraught relationship with his father, a butcher and a loud, overbearing, self-satisfied man who was critical of Franz. I can see Kafka's internal feeling of insufficiency giving root to this story where it is externalized into the physical appearance of a loathsome bug, alienated from all around him.

Interestingly, the number three plays a repeated role: three parts to the story, three family members, three servants, three bearded lodgers... It's debatable what this means, but I tend to think Kafka was referencing the number three's popularity in folk and fairy tales (three wishes, three brothers, three billy goats Gruff, etc.) to give his story additional heft and a more timeless feel, rather than, say, it being used here a religious symbol. But Kafka, who was Jewish, did use some religious and even Christian symbols. Note the symbolic apple and the crucifixion imagery here:
An apple thrown without much force glanced against Gregor's back and slid off without doing any harm. Another one however, immediately following it, hit squarely and lodged in his back; Gregor wanted to drag himself away, as if he could remove the surprising, the incredible pain by changing his position; but he felt as if nailed to the spot and spread himself out, all his senses in confusion.
My main thought after finishing this is that the family relationships being dissected here are incredibly sad, and disturbing. In an essay on The Metamorphosis, Vladimir Nabokov stated that "Gregor is a human being in an insect's disguise; his family are insects disguised as people." I've gone back and forth on whether I agree with this, but it certainly has given me a lot of food for thought: There's the originally loving sister who turns on him, the frail and helpless mother who lets him be mistreated, and the father who attacks him physically in the only two interactions they have. They betray him repeatedly, and Gregor always accepts it meekly and even makes excuses to himself for their mistreatment of him. His father stashing away Gregor's wages while Gregor was working at a horrific job to pay off the father's bankruptcy, was awful to read about, and Gregor simply rationalizes it. It's particularly chilling how in the end they all brush off .

I ended up reading about 30% of this in German and the rest in English, going back and forth between two side-by-side versions. Some of the German dialogue and expressions don't translate well into English. For example, Gregor's boss is called "Herr Prokurist" -- literally, Mr. Manager (which was the name used for him in one translation I looked at), but it sounds very lame in English. So I appreciated the additional level of authenticity and even insight that reading parts of this in the original German gave to me.

The more I think about this and pick it apart, the more impressed I am with it. There are so many layers to this story. I started out with 3 stars based on my college memories of reading this, upped it to 4 stars when I finished it the other day, and, after spending more time analyzing it for this review, am finally winding up with 5.

Reread with the Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Pantaloonless Buddy Readers group.

I highly recommend taking a look at Vladimir Nabokov's lecture and notes on The Metamorphosis, here at the Kafka Project website.

Initial post:I didn't care for this when I studied it in college but I'm hoping it will grow on me this time. I've found a cool website with side-by-side English and German versions of the story: http://bilinguis.com/book/metamorphos...

So my intention is to try to work through this novella in German. Wish me luck! <---ETA: this was a semi-successful experiment. See above.
Profile Image for Amira Mahmoud.
618 reviews8,198 followers
February 12, 2016

القراءة الثانية لكافكا المجنون
هذا الرجل يعرف كيف يخلق حكايا سوداوية مُرعبة
لا تستطيع أن تقرأها إلا وأنت فاغر فاهك وعيناك مشرعتان على اتساعهما
بلا غزارة في الأحداث، ولا حتى في الشخصيات
التفاصيل، والتفاصيل فقط
في عالم كافكا تُدرك كم هي مُرعبة التفاصيل
كيف كان في القصة الأولى التي قرأتها له؛ في مستوطنة العقاب
يشرح تفاصيل آلة التعذيب، الكبيرة والصغيرة
وما تفعله في تعيس الحظ الذي سيقع تحت براثنها
يصف كل ذلك بطريقة تبعث على الرعب والإشمئزاز!
وها هنا في التحول، كانت التفاصيل أيضًا سيدة الموقف
وبالطبع تأثير تفاصيل كافكا المصاحب لها من رعب وإشمئزاز كالعادة
تفاصيل تحول إنسان إلى حشرة!!
ويومياته في جسد الحشرة الجديد
كيف تحولت شهيته إلى أنواع معينة من الأكل "المتعفن"
وكيف كان يسلي وقته الطويل بالزحف على قوائمه الصغيرة على الأرض والجدران
وكيف كان يقوم بتنظيف جسده الجديد، جسد الحشرة!
كيف كانت عائلته تتعامل معه ومشاعره تجاههم
ومشاعرهم تجاهه؛ ما بين الشفقة
وعدم القدرة على تحمل المزيد

بالنسبة ليّ، وعلى عكس الجميع
أرى أن الجنون لم يكنّ في القصة والفكرة التي صاغها كافكا
أن يتحول إنسان إلى حشرة
لن تعدو كونها قصة رمزية يرمز بها لقضية ما
أقربها هي شعور شخص ما بكونه حشرة –معنويًا- في نظر من حوله
أو أنه يعيش "طفيليًا" كما نُعت كافكا من قِبل والده
لكن في رأيي، الجنون؛ كل الجنون
هو فوضوية سرد القصة، فلا يُقدم أسباب للتحول لا قبله ولا بعده!
هو يضع التحول بين يديك، ويتركك مع عبثية القصة وفوضويتها
ورغم المحاولات العديدة المبذولة لفك طلاسم ورمزية القصة
لا أجدني اتفق أو أميل مع أيًا منها
فمن ناحية التفسير الأقتصادي لعائلة برجوازية تلفظ من داخلها عضو غير نافع
فهذا يفسر نهاية القصة
ولا يفسر بدايتها وهي سبب التحول
إذ إنك تجد غريغور المسكين هو من كان يعول أسرته قبل التحول!
ومن ناحية أخرى التفسير الميتافيزيقي الذي يرد القصة لفكرة الاستنساخ
ولا أعلم على أي أساس تم تفسيرها كذلك
الاستنساخ تنتقل فيه روح الإنسان إلى كائن أدني، حشرة أو حيوان أو ما شابه
في عالم آخر، بينما غريغور والحشرة في نفس العالم
بل لم يحدث انتقال للروح من الأساس
فغريغور هنا "يتحول" روحًا وجسدًا إلى حشرة
وأعتقد أن تبني التفسير الميتافيزيقي للقصة، يقضي على أي لمحة ابداع بها

يُذكرني كافكا بدستويفسكي
فكلاهما يغوص في التفاصيل
وكلاهما تشعر من مجرد القراءة لهما حجم الألم الذي عانوه
وكلاهما سوداوي ولكن كل على طريقته الخاصة.


December 29, 2022
3.5 tragicomic, compelling but imprecise stars. Sounds strange, let me explain the reasons I loved but also disliked part of this story.

Metamorphosis’ is a book that uses the absurd to highlight the plight of many suffering isolation, intolerance, and prejudice, and possibly inspired by the authors own experience. A powerful tale that is beautifully written but not one you can claim to enjoy for the heartbreaking story at the centre.

Although a short story, it is also a marvel for the many themes it embraces and an ingenious piece of writing, but I have to confess it is a book that left me somewhat disappointed by the ending and with so many questions.

The Plot

Kafka’s tale is the ghastly metamorphosis of a man into a giant insect which coincides with the deterioration of Gregor’s mental state and abject alienation. The breakdown of the family unit that, until then had, relied heavily on his efforts to provide for the family also concluded a role reversal when Gregor’s demise becomes apparent.

Perhaps it is the transformation and alteration in both Gregor and his family the book takes its title from. However, the term metamorphosis is best suited to the change in Gregor’s sister, in my opinion, who is seen as maturing by the end but only possible through the destruction of Gregor himself.

Review and Comments

The reader is left to interpret much of the story and its purpose but being so open to interpretation and at times vague is what lost the appeal for me.

However, what was incredibly thought provoking and powerful was the sense of alienation, hopelessness, and the evident breakdown in communication. The lack of understanding and callousness of the family is not lost on the reader either, and highlights how people’s habitual prejudices can cloud good judgement and kindness.

This book made me ponder how well society deals with those things they don’t understand or accept in other people. It feels that some might avoid or even reject what we don’t understand, and therefore could respond inappropriately when we observe behaviour that is different. In this case the further Gregor’s mind deteriorates the less understood and coherent he becomes and instead of receiving the much-loved support and empathy he craves, the family instead cruelly banish him from their day to day lives and employ a carer to do the work for them, whilst being openly critical and abusive.

What is extremely poignant with this story is that it appears to be inspired by Kafka’s own experience, because shortly after completing "The Metamorphosis," Kafka apparently wrote in his diary: "I am living with my family, the dearest people, and yet I am more estranged from them than from a stranger." - How sad.

Described as one of the best short stories ever written, Metamorphosis has received widespread critical acclaim, but my feelings are mixed. At times it felt ambiguous and imprecise, yet it carried such important and sobering themes that were well done. How can that be? So, it may sound strange but like the idiom claims ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ was the reverse for me because I enjoyed the individual themes, reflections but not the ‘whole’ story. I was left questioning the point of this story because of the ending and matter in which Gregor’s story ended.

Some loved, some readers disliked. I felt both because I loved most of this very unique book but was disappointed because I feel the ending could have been written differently and with stronger messages. That is not because I need a happy ending but in this case the ending for me was disconnected from the rest of the story and failed to conclude on some of the all-important messages highlighted through the book.

Tragicomic, unique, and compelling and high praise for the storytelling and the powerful themes but a book that was a little disappointing because of the unsatisfactory ending for this reader.

3.5 rounded up because this is not a 3.
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