Translating Kafka’s Metamorphosis

I couldn’t believe it when I got offered a chance to do a retranslation of Franz Kafka’s immortal tale of filial angst and degradation, The Metamorphosis. It’s been one of my favorite stories since I first read it as a high school student: the terror of grotesque self-discovery, the sadness, the alienation, that unforgettable image of an apple violently embedded in a back that had at first seemed hard as armor and now was mysteriously penetrable. I read it again, in German this time, as a college student, and then many times thereafter, often in the classroom, shepherding groups of intermediate-level German students through its pages and basking vicariously in the thrill they were experiencing at being able to use their hard-won language skills to enjoy something so spectacular. [Read more...]