And Other Stories
From one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, the author of The Metamorphosis and The Trial: A collection that brings together the stories he allowed to be published during his lifetime, including his best-known tale of a man who wakes up transformed into an insect.
To Max Brod, his literary executor, Kafka wrote: “Of all my writings the only books that can stand are these.”
“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.” —Zadie Smith, bestselling author of White Teeth and On Beauty