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Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis – arguably the greatest, most famous and most unnerving short work of literary fiction ever written – is a hundred years old in 2015. This centenary edition offers the first complete English translation of Kafka’s text (by A. L. Lloyd from 1937) plus a richly detailed new introduction to the story by novelist Richard T. Kelly, describing its genesis and the life of its creator.
In The Metamorphosis‘ unforgettable opening sentence we meet travelling salesman Gregor Samsa – on a rare overnight stay in the apartment he shares with his family, paid for by his ceaseless labour – who awakes one morning ‘from a troubled dream’ to find himself ‘changed in his bed to some kind of monstrous vermin’.
‘There is nothing which The Metamorphosis could be surpassed by – one of the few great, perfect poetic works of this century.’ Elias Canetti
‘My greatest masterpieces of twentieth-century prose are, in this order, Joyce’s Ulysses, Kafka’s [Metamorphosis], Bely’s Petersburg and the first half of Proust’s fairy tale In Search of Lost Time.’ Vladimir Nabokov
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