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About|the literary work by Franz Kafka|the biological process|Metamorphosis|other uses|Metamorphosis (disambiguation)
bookMetamorphosis
Die Verwandlung
de

Franz Kafka+
Austria–Hungary+
German
Novella+, absurdist fiction+
Kurt Wolff+ Verlag, Leipzig+
1915+
Die Verwandlung (Franz Kafka)
The Metamorphosis

'''''The Metamorphosis''''' (, also sometimes translated as '''''The Transformation''''') is a novella+ by Franz Kafka+, first published in 1915+. It has been The name Samsa is similar to "Kafka" in its play of vowels and consonants: "Five letters in each word. The S in the word Samsa has the same position as the K in the word Kafka. The A is in the second and fifth positions in both words."

Gregor Samsa appears to be based upon Kafka himself. As when Kafka suffered from insomnia+, he feared he was repulsive and a burden to his family, during which time his sister was his caretaker.

Grete is Gregor's younger sister, who becomes his caretaker after his metamorphosis. Initially Grete and Gregor have a close relationship, but this quickly fades. While Grete initially volunteers to feed him and clean his room, she grows increasingly impatient with the burden and begins to leave his room in disarray out of spite. She plays the violin and dreams of going to the conservatory, a dream Gregor had intended to make happen; Gregor had planned on making the announcement on Christmas Day. To help provide an income for the family after Gregor's transformation, she starts working as a salesgirl.

Mr. Samsa is Gregor's father. After the metamorphosis, he is forced to return to work in order to support the family financially. His attitude towards his son is harsh; he regards the transformed Gregor with disgust and possibly even fear.
Mr. Samsa may have been based on Kafka's father, who treated Kafka harshly.

Mrs. Samsa is Grete and Gregor's mother. She is initially shocked at Gregor's transformation; however, she wants to enter his room. This proves too much for her, thus giving rise to a conflict between her maternal impulse and sympathy, and her fear and revulsion at Gregor's new form.



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Kafka's sentences often deliver an unexpected impact just before the period—that being the finalizing meaning and focus. This is achieved from the construction of sentences in the original German, where the verbs of subordinate clauses are put at the end. For example, in the opening sentence, it is the final word, ''verwandelt'', that indicates transformation:




These constructions are not directly replicable in English, so it is up to the translator to provide the reader with the effect of the original text.

English translators have often sought to render the word ''Ungeziefer'' as "insect", but this is not strictly accurate. In Middle High German+, ''Ungeziefer'' literally means "unclean animal not suitable for sacrifice" and is sometimes used colloquially to mean "bug" – a very general term, unlike the scientific sounding "insect". Kafka had no intention of labeling Gregor as any specific thing, but instead wanted to convey Gregor's disgust at his transformation. The phrasing used by Joachim Neugroschel+ is: "Gregor Samsa found himself, in his bed, transformed into a monstrous vermin", whereas David Wyllie says" "transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin".

However, in Kafka's letter to his publisher of 25 October 1915, in which he discusses his concern about the cover illustration for the first edition, he uses the term ''Insekt'', saying: "The insect itself is not to be drawn. It is not even to be seen from a distance."

''Ungeziefer'' has sometimes been translated as "cockroach+", "dung beetle+", "beetle+", and other highly specific terms. The term "dung beetle" or ''Mistkäfer'' is, in fact, used in the novella by the cleaning lady near the end of the story, but it is not used in the narration. ''Ungeziefer'' also denotes a sense of separation between himself and his environment: he is unclean and must therefore be secluded.

Vladimir Nabokov+, who was a lepidopterist+ as well as writer and literary critic, insisted that Gregor was not a cockroach, but a beetle with wings under his shell, and capable of flight. Nabokov left a sketch annotated, "just over three feet long", on the opening page of his (heavily corrected) English teaching copy. In his accompanying lecture notes, Nabokov discusses the type of insect Gregor has been transformed into, concluding that Gregor "is not, technically, a dung beetle. He is merely a big beetle".

* First print: ''Die Verwandlung''. In: ''Die Weißen Blätter+. Eine Monatsschrift.'' (The White Pages. A Monthly). ed. René Schickele+. "Jg. 2" (1915), "H. 10" (October), ps. 1177–1230.
* ''Sämtliche Erzählungen.'' paperback, ed. Paul Raabe. S. Fischer Verlag+, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg 1970. ISBN 3-596-21078-X.
* ''Drucke zu Lebzeiten''. ed. Wolf Kittler, Hans-Gerd Koch and Gerhard Neumann, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ps. 113-200.
* ''Die Erzählungen.'' (The stories) ed. Roger Herms, original version S. Fischer Verlag 1997 ISBN 3-596-13270-3
* ''Die Verwandlung''. with a commentary by Heribert Kuhn, Suhrkamp Verlag+, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 978-3-518-18813-2. (Suhrkamp BasisBibliothek, 13: Text und Kommentar)
* ''Die Verwandlung''. Anaconda Verlag+, Köln 2005. ISBN 978-3-938484-13-5.
* ''Metamorphosis''. Hardcover, 2009 New Translation, Arcturus Publishing Limited. Forward by William Aaltonen ISBN 978-1-84837-202-3
* ''The Metamorphosis: A New Translation by Susan Bernofsky''. Paperback, 2014, W. W. Norton and Company. Introduction by David Cronenberg. ISBN 978-0393347098.


There are many film versions of the story, mostly short film+s, including:
* a 1975 TV version by Jan Němec+,
* a 1977 animation+ by Caroline Leaf+,
* a 1987 TV movie by Jim Goddard+,
* a 1993 video by Carlos Atanes+, and
*In 1995, the actor Peter Capaldi+, with his short-film ''Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life+'', tied for an Oscar for Live Action Short Film+ with ''Trevor+''. The plot has the author (played by Richard E. Grant+) trying to write the opening line of ''Metamorphosis'' and experimenting with various things that Gregor might turn into, such as a banana or a kangaroo. The film is also notable for a number of Kafkaesque+ moments.
* a longer (80-minute) 2002 version directed by Russian theatrical director Valery Fokin+.
* A Russian version titled ''Prevrashchenie'' (2002) was directed by Valery Fokin+, featuring Yevgeny Mironov+ as Gregor.
*Chris Swanton's film ''Metamorphosis+'' (2012), starring Maureen Lipman+, Robert Pugh+, and Alistair Petrieis the first English, feature-length adaptation of the film.

*In the ''Simpsons+'' book ''Treehouse of Horror Spook-tacular'', Matt Groening+ included a spoof+ of ''The Metamorphosis'', entitled "Metamorphosimpsons".
*Lance Olsen+'s book, ''Anxious Pleasures: A Novel After Kafka+'', retells Kafka's novella from the points of view of those inside his family and out.
*American cartoonist Robert Crumb+ drew a comic adaptation of the novella, which is included in the 1993 book ''Introducing Kafka+'', an illustrated biography of Kafka also known as ''Kafka for Beginners'', ''R. Crumb's Kafka'', or simply ''Kafka''.
*American comic artist Peter Kuper+ illustrated a graphic-novel version, first published by the Crown Publishing Group+ in 2003.
*Marc Estrin+'s debut surrealist novel, ''Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa'' (2002), "resurrects Kafka's half-cockroach Gregor character" vis-à-vis the world between 1915 and 1945.
*East Press published a manga+ version of the story in 2008 as part of their Manga de Dokuha+ line.

*Steven Berkoff+ performed a stage adaptation in 1969. Berkoff's text was also used for the libretto+ to Brian Howard's 1983 opera+ ''Metamorphosis''.
*Another stage adaptation was performed in 2006 as a co-production between the Iceland+ic company Vesturport+ and the Lyric Hammersmith+, adapted and directed by Gísli Örn Garðarsson and David Farr+, with a music soundtrack performed by Nick Cave+ and Warren Ellis. It returned to the Lyric Hammersmith+ in January 2013, starring Garðarsson as Gregor Samsa.

*In ''Home Movies+'' episode 1.06, "Director's Cut", Brendon and the crew produce a rock opera musical adaptation of the novel.
*The third episode of the eight season+ of the PBS Kids+ television series Arthur (TV series)+ revolves around character Alan "The Brain" Powers+ transforming into a cockroach+ as the result of "bugging" his friends.

*A radio drama, combining "Metamorphosis" with Dr. Seuss+, was broadcast in 2012 on This American Life+ performed by Jonathan Goldstein+ and Mira Burt-Wintonick+ with Cristal Duhaime. It was originally produced for CBC Radio One+'s program Wiretap+ in 2008.




Wikisource:
'''Online editions'''
* at DigBib.org (text, pdf, HTML) de icon:
* , translated 2009 by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College+, Nanaimo, BC+
* , translated by David Wyllie+
* via LibriVox+ (audiobook, Ian Johnston translation)
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'''Commentary'''
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