Metamorphosis and the Trial

Overview

Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924) was born into a German speaking Jewish family in Prague. He wrote in German and is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. His works examine the themes of transformation, alienation, bullying and the characters are given insuperable quests.

This book contains two of his most famous stories - "Metamorphosis" and "The Trial".

Metamorphosis begins like this:
...

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The Metamorphosis and The Trial

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Overview

Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924) was born into a German speaking Jewish family in Prague. He wrote in German and is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. His works examine the themes of transformation, alienation, bullying and the characters are given insuperable quests.

This book contains two of his most famous stories - "Metamorphosis" and "The Trial".

Metamorphosis begins like this:
"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."

The story is harrowing, but funny in a dark way, it explores the themes of alienation - the guilt, inadequacy and anguish of transformation. Samsa's predicament is perhaps the predicament we all face at times, and especially if we suffer illness or disability. This is one of the most influential books of all time.

The Trail also starts with a stark problem:
"Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. Every day at eight in the morning he was brought his breakfast by Mrs. Grubach's cook - Mrs. Grubach was his landlady - but today she didn't come."

We never find out what Josef K was arrested for, he is a respected worker in a bank and he has to defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. This is a terrifying tale but again is comic at times. It explores the nightmare of excessive bureaucracy, hold onto your hat because this book is a psychological roller-coaster.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781781393772
  • Publisher: Benediction Books
  • Publication date: 3/23/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 873,596
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka
FRANZ KAFKA [1883-1924] was born in Prague, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic). In 1906, he graduted as Doctor of Law from Charles-Ferdinand University, Prague. For the next year he was a law clerk for the courts. Afterward, he worked for several insurance companies while writing in his spare time. In 1917, he developed Tuberculosis. In 1924, he died in a sanatorium near Vienna. During his life he was practically unknown as a writer. Most of his works were published posthumously by his lifelong friend Max Brod. His novella Metamorphosis (1915) and novel The Trial (1925) are considered is best work.

Biography

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 to a well-to-do middle-class Jewish family. His father, the self-made proprietor of a wholesale haberdashery business, was a domineering man whose approbation Franz continually struggled to win. The younger Kafka's feelings of inadequacy and guilt form the background of much of his work and are made explicit in his "Letter to His Father" (excerpted in this volume), which was written in 1919 but never sent.

Kafka was educated in the German language schools of Prague and at the city's German University, where in 1908 he took a law degree. Literature, however, remained his sole passion. At this time he became part of a literary circle that included Franz Werfel, Martin Buber, and Kafka's close friend Max Brod. Encouraged by Brod, Kafka published the prose collection Observations in 1913. Two years later his story "The Stoker" won the Fontaine prize. In 1916 he began work on The Trial and between this time and 1923 produced three incomplete novels as well as numerous sketches and stories. In his lifetime some of his short works did appear: The Judgment (1916), The Metamorphosis (1916), The Penal Colony (1919), and The Country Doctor (1919).

Before his death of tuberculosis in 1924, Kafka had charged Max Brod with the execution of his estate, ordering Brod to burn the manuscripts. With the somewhat circular justification that Kafka must have known his friend could not obey such an order, Brod decided to publish Kafka's writings. To this act of "betrayal" the world owes the preservation of some of the most unforgettable and influential literary works of our century.

Biography courtesy of BN.com

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1883
    2. Place of Birth:
      Prague, Austria-Hungary
    1. Date of Death:
      June 3, 1924
    2. Place of Death:
      Vienna, Austria
    1. Education:
      German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

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