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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

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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, 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. As W. H. Auden wrote, Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.--