I picked up a copy of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis after John Oliver used the word “Kafkaesque” in his excellent and consistently funny social commentary show Last Week Tonight – and I realised I had no idea what it actually meant.
Oliver was using it on this occasion to describe the impenetrable bureaucracy that Afghan and Iraqi translators, working with the US army, are subject to in applying for visas to America.
However, I discovered that Metamorphosis is not about bureaucracy at all; it’s about a man dealing with an abrupt cessation of income and the subsequent loss of respect from his family. The fact he has transformed into a gigantic cockroach is dealt with such stoicism as to render it almost secondary to the tale. Continue reading Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka – [Book Review]