Books: Tormented Soul

THE PENAL COLONY (320 pp.)—Franz Kafka—Schocken ($3).

THE DIARIES OF FRANZ KAFKA, 1914-1923 (343 pp.)—Schocken ($3.75).

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

With this sentence, Franz Kafka begins The Metamorphosis, a novelette filled with the Czech author's own terrified and terrifying sense of life. Gregor Samsa, a timid, unsuccessful salesman slaving for his family feels rejected and unwanted. At the end, he hears his sister say of his insect-self, "We must try to get rid of it." The Metamorphosis appears, with 43 other Kafka stories and "short pieces," in The...

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