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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka
Translated by David Wyllie.
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Author: Franz Kafka
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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, METAMORPHOSIS ***
Copyright (C) 2002 by David Wyllie.
by Franz Kafka
Translated by David Wyllie
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he
found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.
He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a
little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and
divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was
hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any
moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the
size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he
"What's happened to me?" he thought. It wasn't a dream.
His room, a proper human room although a little too small,
lay peacefully between its four familiar walls. A
collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table -
Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a
picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated
magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a
lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright,
raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower
arm towards the viewer.
Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull
weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane,
which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a
little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought,
but that was something he was unable to do because he was
used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state
couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw
himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he
was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes
so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs,
and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain
there that he had never felt before.