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About the Author
Bernofsky has performed an act of magic with her translation. She's found the human inside Kafka's words imploring and beseeching and begging, in his own quiet way, for help and delivered him to us, in flesh and blood. It's a letter that comes more than a century too late, but it's finally been delivered. That, in a quiet and bookish way, is some kind of small act of hope. --Paul Constant"
"Kafka's survey of the insectile situation of young Jews in inner Bohemia can hardly be improved upon: 'With their posterior legs they were still glued to their father's Jewishness and with their wavering anterior legs they found no new ground.' There is a sense in which Kafka's Jewish question ('What have I in common with Jews?') has become everybody's question, Jewish alienation the template for all our doubts. What is Muslimness? What is femaleness? What is Polishness? These days we all find our anterior legs flailing before us. We're all insects, all "Ungeziefer, "now."
"Kafka engaged in no technical experiments whatsoever; without in any way changing the German language, he stripped it of its involved constructions until it became clear and simple, like everyday speech purified of slang and negligence. The common experience of Kafka's readers is one of general and vague fascination, even in stories they fail to understand, a precise recollection of strange and seemingly absurd images and descriptions--until one day the hidden meaning reveals itself to them with the sudden evidence of a truth simple and incontestable."
Bernofsky is one of the finest translators of German working today, and her new English version of Kafka s most famous tale of Gregor Samsa, the horrifying and helpless human-sized insect distinguishes itself from previous translations in its first sentence. "
This welcome new edition of The Metamorphosis was translated by Susan Bernofsky in a smoother, less Germanic, more contemporary voice than the Muir version most Anglophone readers remember from school, and is introduced by the master of biological horror, director David Cronenberg. --Andrew Hultkrans"