Die Verwandlung [The Metamorphosis]; In: Die Weissen Blätter
”As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect...”
“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself...”
FIRST APPEARANCE OF A MASTERPIECE OF WESTERN LITERATURE, PRECEDING THE FIRST BOOK EDITION.
“Kafka read the first section of his ‘bug piece’ (Wanzensache) aloud to friends on November 24, 1912, and again on December 15. People started talking about it, and Kafka received a query from publisher Kurt Wolff in March 1913 on the recommendation of Kafka’s friend Franz Werfel. Franz Blei, the literary editor of the new avant-garde journal Die weissen Blätter, expressed interest, and Robert Musil wrote as well, soliciting the novella for the more established Die neue Rundschau. But months passed before Kafka had a clean manuscript ready for submission, and then World War I intervened, causing further delays... In the spring of 1915, René Schickele took over as editor-in-chief of Die weissen Blätter, and with Max Brod’s help, Kafka placed the story there. It came out in October 1915, and then appeared in December 1915 (though dated 1916) as a slender volume published by Kurt Wolff Verlag in Leipzig” (Susan Bernofsky, The New Yorker).
IN: Die Weissen Blätter, 2 Jahrgang, October 1915, pp. 1177-1230. The whole issue (October 1915) offered. Leipzig: Der Weissen Bücher, 1915. Octavo, original wrappers; custom cloth box. Mild foxing to wrappers, a little wear at the spine ends. A rare, well-preserved copy in the original wrappers of the true first printing; considerably more rare than the first book edition.
Price: $6,500 .