The Metamorphosis

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Reading Gregor Samsa’s Chart

Have you ever wondered about the astrological sign of your favorite literary character, or considered how the introduction of astrology might supplement, for example, our reading of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis? If so, you’re in luck: Alex Dimitrov and Deborah Lasky, the writers behind Astro Poets, have assembled a handy little list for The Paris Review. (In case you’re wondering, Gregor Samsa is a Cancer.)

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A Hunger Artist

On August 1st, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia. Also, Franz Kafka went swimming. Moreover, the Metamorphosis author mentioned both events in his diary, writing simply and strangely that “Germany has declared war on Russia — went swimming in the afternoon.” Was this odd phrasing intentional or a sign of the author’s self-absorption? In an article for Open Letters Monthly, Robert Minto reads all three volumes of Reiner Stach’s new biography.

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