A man awakens to find himself transformed into a giant vermin; a performer starves himself to death as a circus attraction; a fiendish engine of capital punishment engraves the letter of the law into the body of the condemned. Such are the nightmare scenarios that emerge in the short stories of Franz Kafka, one of the twentieth century's most formative, mystifying literary figures. Though immediate in their impact, Kafka's stories invite endless angles of interpretation, from Freudian psychology and existentialist philosophy to animal studies. This volume presents "The Metamorphosis"-together with several other of Kafka's best and best-known stories-in a nuanced, clear, and powerful translation by Ian Johnston. The appendices provide philosophical, literary, and cultural context, as well as valuable selections from Kafka's own letters and drawings.