... read all the one-star reviews of this edition of The Metamorphosis! It won't take long; if the reviewers learned anything in their AP classes, it was brevity. On the other hand, feel free to ignore all the five-star reviews, including mine. (Oh no! It's too late! You've already started it.)
There are as many interpretations of The Metamorphosis as there are readers. Only the US Constitution compares in the sheer quantity of contentious misreading. In this pocket-sized Bantam edition, the novella itself takes up 53 pages out of 198. Almost three-quarters of the edition are devoted to explanatory notes and contradictory critical essays. My favorite novelists, Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville, would have had this to say to Herr Kafka: "Ships sink under the weight of barnacles."
This Bantam edition is printed on paper guaranteed to turn to dust within two years, with a mercilessly small typeface that squeezes so close to the spine that you'll need to break it apart just to read it. However, the translation by Stanley Corngeld is the most readable and Kafkaesque of any I've looked at. Unless your German is adequate, this is the version to read.
[Oh yeah, by the way... The Metamorphosis is a grrrreat piece of writing!]
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