German subscription cinema and literature
9. Die Verwandlung
Reasons to study this work
A masterpiece which is short and linguistically not too difficult to read and with its metaphorical nature and the socio-cultural background lying behind it worthy of interesting discussion.
The interest of the work
The opening sentence of Franz Kafka's Die Verwandlung is one of the most well-known in literature yet the simplicity of it belies the rich and unknowable meaning of the work itself; the number of interpretations of the novella testifies to its importance and underlying complexity. It is possible to read the novella superficially almost as if were one watching a cartoon but a closer look at Kafka's family background and the situation of Jews in a city which was at the time half German and half Czech will pay dividends. Kafka's work is now seen as some of the most important of the 20th century, defining the nature of a civilisation becoming increasingly alienated both at a family and societal level.