“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”
This sentence introduces us into one of Franz Kafka’s famous works, The Metamorphosis. I have had no prior experience with Kafka and had only come to know of him through Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.
Anyway back to The Metamorphosis; from the blurb I had expected to read a humorous tale. While Kafka does have a witty and kind of sardonic sense of humour. I mean, the guy wakes up in a bizarre form and his first thoughts are about work? Symbolically, it’s a reflection of man and his clockwork like life. I get that.
This story is the strangest I’ve ever read. Throughout the book I couldn’t help wondering how Gregor’s family even knew he was the beetle! The man could have probably been eaten by the beetle, for all they know. And I’ve read a few reviews criticizing the family for the way the treated beetle Gregor, but come on, if I found a strange and huge dung beetle in my home, I’d be pretty terrified of it too. And considering Gregor’s speech came out as a sort of hissing, yeah, that beetle would have probably been dead.
All that aside, I did enjoy The Metamorphosis. Kafka’s writing is crisp with a dark sense of humour. Honestly, I love how he just drops us into this twisted story with no explanation for anything. It’s vague and yet very honest in its portrayal.
“Was he an animal, that music could move him so? He felt as if the way to the unknown nourishment he longed for were coming to light.”