"When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams, he found himself changed into a monstrous cockroach in his bed."
"He woke to discover that he had undergone a metamorphosis and become Gregor Samsa."
This comes atop Sarah Lyall’s NYT article on resurrecting long-gone literary characters. It’s a trend that results in the occasional disaster or sparkling success (Grendel, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Hours, etc.), but most often it’s just a lot of fun and a good way to keep the classics in our contemporary imagination.
“If ‘literally’ is really here to stay, at the very least, people could be encouraged to correctly misuse the word.”
Franz Kafka, October 18, 1921
From The Diaries of Franz Kafka 1910-1923
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena
Franz Kafka’s signature in a letter to Milena Jesenská. It reads:
Franz wrong, F wrong, Yours wrong/ nothing more calm, deep forest.
Prague, July 29, 1920.
Letters to Milena. Franz Kafka, trans. Philip Boehm. New York: Schocken Books, 1990.
Kafka and Jesenská met twice: once in Vienna for four days, and in Gmünd for one. Kafka gave her his diaries at the end of his life.
Franz Kafka, from his diaries, cited in Roberto Calasso’s K, translated by Geoffrey Brock.