Sunday, February 28, 2016

Substantialreads: Transformers

Does antiquity add length? In case that's not substantial enough, I added a supplementary shortie to keep you/me/the Gods satisfied.

Ovid, Metamorphoses

8 AD / E-book / 480 pages / Italy


This seemed to get referenced more than any other text whenever I've read anything classical-themed from A-level onwards, so it was about time I got around to it. I would have done that a lot sooner if I'd known it was basically a Roman/Greek mythology anthology. The theme is transformation, which barely narrows the field at all since that happens absolutely all the time, and the segues between otherwise unrelated stories are as amusingly flimsy as those in an Amicus horror film.

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

1915 / Audiobook / 96 pages / Czech Republic


I'm surprised I never properly read this one either. I did try to tackle it in the original German once, which probably put me off. It's less challenging having Benedict Cumberbatch read it to me like I'm blind or a child.

It seems that people have interpreted its metaphor for the socially repulsive, downtrodden Other all over the place, but that doesn't make any sense unless those minorities are associated with climbing up the walls. He's an insect, you idiots. Did you really not get that?

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