31 March 2004 2 comments Books
"One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin."
On Sunday morning I heard that Project Gutenberg has started to provide some of their books in MP3 format. I did a "random" search and eventually started downloading The Trial by Franz Kafka. Whilst waiting I started to read Metamorphosis also by Franz Kafka.
We read it at school many years ago and I appreciated it even more this time. What a fantastic book it is. So incredible many subtle hints that you easily oversee. This time around I understood it much more. Maybe it's that I've matured more or maybe I read it too quickly last time. Last time I understood it as Gregor Samsa just felt forgotten and dying. This time I realised that it abstracts so many other forms of social development. I had not understood the importance of the mother, the father and the sister. They in themselves represent different layers of social groups in a very well hidden way. Before I used to think of the members of the family all as one entity.
This was also the first I've ever read a book on screen. It's definitely not an alternative to read long novels on the computer but Metamorphosis isn't very long and I was curious what it'd be like to read a book on the screen. The biggest problem I think is the sitting position. If laid back and comfortable and it becomes hard to focus on the little letters and to close you end up with neck strain and tear running eyes. Nothing beats the paper alternative. The question is, what's the next ideal digital alternative to reading from paper?Follow @peterbe on Twitter