So, today’s review is of Kafka’s Metamorphosis’ or in other words why you should write while under the influence of drugs.
Kafka is one of the writers I honestly admire. His imagination aside, he creates powerful emotion in his writing; he puts the reader in the story and makes them feel like part of the book. You get consumed by the world, the events and you feel like you are trapped inside a book; the emotions felt by the main character are transferred onto you and, once you are finished with the book (which is most likely unfinished…) you sit back, gaze through the window and ask yourself two questions:
- What the hell did I just read?
- Will I ever be as good as Kafka?
So just how much out of your brain you need to be to imagine, visualise, create and normalise the worlds like the one in this book? It’s not that the story in itself is weird, it’s the way Kafka writes it, or writes most of his works. It’s his style that puzzles and fascinates me.
So Gregor Samsa wakes up one day and realises he is a massive bug. No big deal though because it’s Kafka’s story. So all that poor Gregor wants to do is to get out of bed (which is an impossible feat for a bug turned on his back) and go to work as a salesman. However, he can’t really get out of bed. So his family gets involved, then his employer; then they see that he is a bug and it becomes weird and poor Gregor loses his job, and now he must stay inside, and the family is freaking out and so on and so on…
It’s a short book, so read it, I won’t spoil it for you. But I’ll talk more about Kafka. He is an interesting individual. His worlds are cold and absurd. They alienate the normalcy and logic of our lives and put you in a world where you are powerless. In Metamorphosis, a reader does not question the absurdity of the situation because he/she is too busy trying to understand what is going on. Of course, you give up trying to rationalise the subject of the book because you are getting a headache and the book is getting really interesting.
I admire his unfiltered and raw perspective about the absurdity of everything. His works are full of emotion, even if they are bizarre and full of truth, even though irrational. Metamorphosis is a book about a man who wakes up transformed into a bug. Yet, he remains calm because the world, that Kafka put Gregor in, is the world there this does not phase him (his family is a different matter, but not really). It is a world like ours, yet so obscurely different, that even the reader is like “Okay, he turned into a bug. What’s next?”.
There’s not much I can say about this work. Once you read it, it is fairly straightforward. Those of you who have studied his works will be aware of the meanings and social commentary you could find and debate in his work, but I don’t want to discuss them here. (It’s late and maybe even irrelevant – a lot of writers do that – but very few can write like him).
Kafka is a writer one must read. He is a hallmark of the literary world. So, read this book.