How's my Luck now?

Reflections, views and descriptions during my stay at IIM Lucknow from July 2004 to March 2006

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Location: India

Friday, May 13, 2005

'The Metamorphosis'

The friend who recommended Hesse to me also recommended Franz Kafka, and so I read this novella of his online (Project Gutenberg link here). As he said, it is only after reading Kafka that one would be able to truly understand what the expression 'Kafkaesque' means. At first glance, this story is bizarre. If one just reads through it as one reads most stories, then one gains nothing at all out of it, and indeed questions the purpose of the author.

But simple as the story is in terms of language, the temptation to read it up quickly should be avoided. The story is about a travelling salesman called Gregor Samsa, based in Prague, who suddenly turns into a big beetle-like creature in his bedroom overnight. And then his travails are described - mainly revolving around the contrast between his behaviour and situation and those of his family, consisting of parents and a younger sister. There is hardly any cheer in the story, it is a depressing tale. But I will not reveal the events in the story, because it is much better to read it oneself.

My friend also suggested to me this excellent link to a lecture by Vladimir Nabokov wherein he analyzes this story. It is a must-read after having read the story.

2 Comments:

Blogger Samrat said...

hey ted,
nice to see the 'crisp' reviews of these classic novellas. After geting the links i am also visiting the gutenberg site and downloading them.
waiting to see more such reviews.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Tadatmya Vaishnav said...

Samrat,
Good to know you liked the posts and it spurred you to download the ebooks. I will write about two more books, but they are not available online. However, I would recommend them both.

4:17 AM  

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