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The Metamorphosis
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Monthly Reads > September 2018 Group Read: The Metamorphosis

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Ronald (rpdwyer) | 558 comments This is the discussion thread for The Metamorphosis.


Ronald (rpdwyer) | 558 comments The Metamorphosis is available in German and English on Project Gutenberg.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/sear...

I found it a mildly interesting experiment to put some of the German text into Google Translate.

For example, Google translates the first sentence as : "One morning, when Gregor Samsa awoke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed into a monstrous vermin in his bed."


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I finished this one and I enjoyed it a lot. The author invokes a lot of feelings and leaves the story open to interpretation. I'll be reading some of the other stories in The Metamorphosis and Other Stories over the next few weeks as time allows.


Ronald (rpdwyer) | 558 comments I read Part One.
There is humor in this story. Gregor Samsa turns into a giant insect yet instead of freaking out, as I would, he is more concerned about his job.

I read somewhere that sometimes when Kafka read his work, Kafka and his audience would laugh. I can see that.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Ronald wrote: "I read Part One.
There is humor in this story. Gregor Samsa turns into a giant insect yet instead of freaking out, as I would, he is more concerned about his job.

I read somewhere that sometimes w..."


You're right, there was definitely some humor there, especially with the clerk who comes to Gregor's house.


Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 38 comments Well, I certainly never thought that I would feel empathy/sympathy for a giant insect, but I did!

I had heard of the story and knew the basic outline of it, but I had never read it before. I hadn't really expected the sense of poignancy and pathos that I felt while reading the story; I had been expecting something more in a weird/horror vein, but it is more of an absurdist tragedy.


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 5 comments ALWAYS wanted to read this, and have enjoyed other works by Kafka. I look forward to (finally) reading this one! --Jen from Quebec :0)


Ronald (rpdwyer) | 558 comments Well, I read Part Two.

I've also been reading some literary analysis of the story.

I wonder what Kafka would have made of the interpretations of his story.

The science fiction writer Neal Asher wrote a story entitled "Mason's Rats", which is about a war between a farmer and highly intelligent rats. Asher, on the old Asimov's forum, told us that he read a Marxist analysis of the story which was almost as long as original story. Neal Asher said to us, crikey, the reason he wrote the story was that he though it amusing imagining a rodent drawing a bow and arrow.

Goodreads shelf for "Mason's Rats" here:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...


Becca (windyorchids) | 1 comments I expected this to be mostly humorous but it was actually really sad. Gregor was completely rejected by his family, hidden away, and thought of as a burden.

The part where his sister played the violin and he came out to hear her play but was then treated as a monster and they all admitted they wanted to get rid of him almost was tragic.


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 5 comments About 30% into this one, sadly will not finish before the end of September. :0( Also- am I a terrible person for thinking that the book is quite *funny*?? ---Jen from Quebec :0)


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Jen from Quebec :0) wrote: "About 30% into this one, sadly will not finish before the end of September. :0( Also- am I a terrible person for thinking that the book is quite *funny*?? ---Jen from Quebec :0)"

Not at all. I thought his writing has a lot of humor.


Ronald (rpdwyer) | 558 comments I finished reading the third part.

I founding the ending sad too. Gregor is treated as a monster and a burden. Very mean. Gregor dies.

One bit of literary analysis of the story that I agree with is that Gregor is not the only one who underwent a transformation. Gregor's transformation--for example, that he couldn't provide for the family anymore--meant that the other family members had to change. Gregor's sister Grete changes much in the story.

I consider the story, and this is one of the mainstream interpretations, as absurdist fiction.

Wikipedia says: "While a great deal of absurdist fiction may be humorous or irrational in nature, the hallmark of the genre is neither comedy nor nonsense, but rather, the study of human behavior under circumstances (whether realistic or fantastical) that appear to be purposeless and philosophically absurd. Absurdist fiction posits little judgment about characters or their actions; that task is left to the reader. Also, the "moral" of the story is generally not explicit, and the themes or characters' realizations — if any — are often ambiguous in nature."


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