I have only one request," Kafka wrote to his publisher Kurt Wolff in 1913. "'The Stoker,' 'The Metamorphosis,' and 'The Judgment' belong together, both inwardly and outwardly. There is an obvious connection among the three, and, even more important, a secret one, for which reason I would be reluctant to forego the chance of having them published together in a book, which might be called The Sons."
About the Author
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.
Date of Birth:July 3, 1883
Date of Death:June 3, 1924
Place of Birth:Prague, Austria-Hungary
Place of Death:Vienna, Austria
Education:German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.
Table of Contents
|Note on the Translations||xxi|
|Letter to His Father||113|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Let¿s begin with the fact that any collection containing ¿The Metamorphosis¿ has to be good. There are very good reasons why this is a classic. For those of you who haven¿t heard, a man wakes up to find he has turned into a cockroach. For those of you who have heard but not bothered (or read at such speed ¿ as required by some instructor or other authority figure ¿ that you missed the nuance), it is not so much about the transformation into a cockroach as it is a study of the man and his family. This is a story you want to take the time to read, and you want to take the time to absorb it.But, on to the rest of the collection. Apparently, Kafka had a desire that these three stories (¿The Judgment¿ about a son who is heading toward marriage but finds he has not lived up to his father¿s expectations, ¿The Stoker¿ about a son who has been forced to leave his family and, after landing in America, finds more than one authority figure replacement, and the previously mentioned ¿The Metamorphosis¿ about a son who turns into¿well, we¿ve already been there) be brought together in one collection to help present his overarching theme about sons, fathers, and families. Collecting them this way does indeed help strengthen that theme. And this is enhanced by the inclusion of ¿Letter to His Father¿, a ¿critique¿ written by Kafka about his father and the life Kafka wound up living.However, compared to ¿The Metamorphosis¿, everything else is just interesting ¿ not bad, but just interesting. Two hints about reading this specific collection. Read ¿Letter¿ first as it does provide insights into the thoughts that made up the short stories. And save the introduction for later (at least after reading ¿The Judgment) as there is a spoiler. Maybe a minor spoiler, but a spoiler nonetheless.