Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1915.
KAFKA, Franz. Die Verwandlung [The Metamorphosis]. Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, .
First edition, wrappers issue. One of 1000 copies (according to the publisher). Octavo
(8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches; 215 x 135 mm.). [1-2], 3-72, , [1, blank], [5, ads], [1, blank] pp. Complete. With five pages of publisher's advertisements and on flaps and rear cover.
Cream-colored illustrated dust jacket with folding flaps, front of dust jacket 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"). Publisher's advertisements on dust jacket flaps and rear panel. Red wrappers. Fore-edge uncut. Some minor creasing to bottom of spine, and along edges. Light discoloration along edges as well. Top of spine with a small amount of chipping. Front red wrapper with the residue of a removed label. Very minor foxing to first three leaves. Page 10 with a small closed tear to inner margin, not affecting text. Overall, a very good copy of the very scarce first edition of Kafka's most famous novel.
“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, p. 7).
Dietz 25. Wronski, Kafka 12.