Translated, edited, and with an Introduction by Stanley Corngold
Featuring essays by Philip Roth, W. H Auden, and Walter Benjamin
“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Franz Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing—though absurdly comic—meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction.
This Modern Library edition collects Stanley Corngold’s acclaimed English translation—long hailed as the gold standard by scholars and general readers alike—along with seven critical essays by writers including Philip Roth, W. H. Auden, and Walter Benjamin, background and contextual material, and a new Introduction from Corngold himself.
About the Author:
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born of Jewish parents in Prague. Several of his story collections were published in his lifetime and his novels, The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, were published posthumously by his editor Max Brod.
The son of a well-to-do merchant, Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883 and died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium near Vienna in 1924. After earning a law degree in 1906, he worked most of his adult life at the Workers Accident Insurance Company for the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague. Only a small portion of his writings were published during his lifetime; most of them, including the three unfinished novels, Amerika, The Trial, and The Castle, were published posthumously.
About the Translator:
Stanley Corngold is a professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at Princeton. He has published widely on modern German writers and thinkers (Nietzsche, Musil, Kraus, Mann, Benjamin, Adorno, among others), but for the most part he has been translating and writing on the work of Franz Kafka. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.