Monday, June 27, 2016

Gregor Samsa as Grotesque (LMM #2)

(For more on the "Literature for the Modern Mind" series, see here.)

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis begins with one of the most famous lines in all of twentieth-century literature: “When Gregor Samsa awoke from troubled dreams one morning, he found that he had been transformed in his bed into an enormous bug.” Depending on the translation, Gregor is sometimes transformed into a “monstrous vermin,” but the import is the same. An unprecedented change has occurred, something very much like a dream, but very real.