Die Verwandlung [The Metamorphosis]
Leipzig: Kurt Wolff, 1915.
Leipzig: Kurt Wolff, 1915. First edition. Cream-colored wrappers with folding flaps, front cover with Ottomar Starke's famous charcoal drawing of a man clutching his head in front of an open door (reminiscent of Edvard Munch's "The Scream"). Greenish-grey endpapers. Some minor creasing to bottom of spine. Small discoloration to lower left corner of front wrapper. Overall, a near fine copy of the very scarce first edition of Kafka's most famous novel. Only a thousand copies were printed. Housed in custom box.
“Written between November 17 and December 7, 1912 during the fit of creative passion that also saw the birth of Das Urteil [The Judgement] and the first chapter of Der Verschollen (Der Heizer) [(The Stoker)]…This ‘exceptionally repulsive story’ is the most sustained work of fiction published during Kafka’s lifetime and the one with which his name is most profoundly associated in the common consciousness: it is the story of Gregor Samsa’s transformation into a giant insect. The strange allegory of alienation—from the self, from one’s very body, from the family, and by analogy from society, the state and the whole of mankind—is one of the defining works of the twentieth-century consciousness. In his critical hierarchy of the great prose works of the Twentieth Century, Vladimir Nabokov rates Die Verwandlung second behind only James Joyce’s Ulysses” (The Breon Mitchell Collection of the Works of Franz Kafka).
Dietz 25. Wronoski, Kafka 12. Near Fine (Item #1658)