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Google Doodle celebrates Franz Kafka's 130th birthday with 'The Metamorphosis' tribute

Doodle is based on Kafka’s 1915 novella ‘The Metamorphosis’
  • @johnmatthewhall

Google has created a ‘doodle’ in tribute to Franz Kafka on the 130th anniversary of the German-language novelist’s birth.

The doodle is based on Kafka’s 1915 novella ‘The Metamorphosis’ – considered by many to be one of the most important works of fiction of the 20th century – and shows the character Gregor Samsa walking into a room in the guise of a large insect.

In the much-celebrated work, Samsa is a travelling salesman who transforms into an insect overnight. The rest of novella focuses on his struggle to come to terms with his new existence and the burden it places on his family.

Kafka was born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family on 3 July 1883 in Prague, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

He originally trained as a lawyer but began writing short stories in his spare time - eventually coming to consider it his calling – despite only a handful of his works being published during his lifetime.

Regarded as one of the 20th Century’s most influential authors, Kafka’s works are dominated by unreliable narrators who often tell dark tales of existentialist difficulties.

Kafka’s notoriously difficult relationship with his father Hermann is believed to have strongly influenced his work – with The Metamorphosis itself thought to be based upon Kafka’s own fears of insignificance and repulsiveness to his own family.