Franz Kafka’s famous and frightful novelette Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) has spawned almost as many interpretations as any cockroach, but one angle that most of them agree on is that the protagonist Gregor Samsa, very closely identified with Kafka himself, is being judged or somehow weighed and found wanting, through his transformation into a giant insectoid […]
Davos in Switzerland is one of the cities lucky – or unfortunate- enough to be canonized by a 20th-century classic of intellectual and cultural crisis. Thanks to The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann put Davos on the map alongside James Joyce’s Dublin, T.S. Eliot’s London, Andrei Bely’s Petersburg and Franz Kafka’s Prague as one of the [...]
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Today marks the 130th birthday of Franz Kafka (1883-1924), and to commemorate the day, media groups and publishers have released various special creations, including one e-book exclusive. Google put up a Google Doodle on its search homepage paying homage to Gregor Samsa, the salesman-turned-cockroach in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” Author Matthue Roth has released a collection of [...]
For many commentators, revelations this week that the federal government is sweeping up records of communications and transactions between millions of Americans sounds uncomfortably like the vision of the British novelist and journalist George Orwell.
His novel Nineteen Eighty-Four portrayed a society in which the state constantly tracks the movements and thoughts of individuals. Its slogan is "Big Brother Is Watching You."
"Throwing out such a broad net of surveillance is exactly the kind of threat Orwell feared," says Michael Shelden, author of Orwell: The Authorized Biography.