Perhaps no twentieth-century literary work from German-speaking Europe has attracted more attention worldwide than Franz Kafka's "Die Verwandlung." Since it was first published in 1912, this bizaare tale of the traveling salesman who awakes one morning to discover he has been transformed into a huge bug has consistently elicited powerful responses from its readers. Some have judged it disgusting and perverse, while others have regarded it as profound, prophetic, or puzzling. Virtually all, however, have found it provocative. As a result, its readership has steadily grown until today it belongs to the expected reading of the so-called educated person, not only in German-speaking Europe, but in much of the Western world.



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