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Samsa and Samsara: Suffering, Death, and Rebirth in "The Metamorphosis"

Michael P. Ryan
The German Quarterly
Vol. 72, No. 2 (Spring, 1999), pp. 133-152
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Association of Teachers of German
DOI: 10.2307/408369
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/408369
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Samsa and Samsara: Suffering, Death, and Rebirth in "The Metamorphosis"
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Abstract

This article considers influences of eastern philosophy on Franz Kafka. It explores possible mediators of eastern philosophy for Kafka, and suggests that the family name "Samsa" in The Metamorphosis was inspired by the Sanskrit term Samsara. This term, denoting death, suffering, and rebirth, provides the basis for a new interpretation of The Metamorphosis.

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