By Franz Kafka
(Schocken, Paperback, 9780805208863, 192pp.)
Publication Date: August 5, 1989
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I have only one request," Kafka wrote to his publisher Kurt Wolff in 1913. "'The Stoker,' 'The Metamorphosis,' and 'The Judgment' belong together, both inwardly and outwardly. There is an obvious connection among the three, and, even more important, a secret one, for which reason I would be reluctant to forego the chance of having them published together in a book, which might be called The Sons."
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.
“The world of the officials and the world of the fathers are the same to Kafka. The similarity does not redound to this world’s credit; it consists of dullness, decay, and dirt. Uncleanness is so much the attribute of officials that one could almost regard them as enormous parasites. In the same way the fathers in Kafka’s strange families batten on their sons, lying on top of them like enormous parasites.”