Gregor Samsa in 2016

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible cockroach. One of his close friends tried to convince him he was just some sort of vermin, a water bug, a beetle, nothing serious. His friend said the change had just gotten lost in translation and wasn’t all that bad. Gregor knew better. He knew he was a cockroach. He’d been to The Heights; he knew what a cockroach looked like. He would not delude himself.

Gregor chuckled in fact. He would leave all that delusion and self doubt to high schoolers, those forced to read ambiguously translated literature without good guiding explanation. That, he thought, was a gift even his cockroached self could give to society.

He rolled on his side, contented by the thought of all the frustration he would be able to visit upon hapless, literate souls in their formative years. Only he discovered that his cockroach scales were actually the forgotten pages of years of over-assigned, obscure academic journals, unread by the hordes of students too busy to acknowledge a fading cockroaches literary genius, concerned instead with by what Kafka meant by “vermin” and what the underlying meaning behind the story was in terms of the wider context of a hegemonically secular, because cognitively close, world of Westernized contemporary modernity, being transumptively inherited…. NO! No… No. Gregor was devastated. He and his literary genius had been exterminated by millennial pretension.

By: Lily Whiteman

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