db2eed92a7b749a61bd549fda48f16d1

68dc5ca6c1f09f3705fc7cb5f4e6bace

The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me? ” he thought. It wasn’t a dream.

His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame.

It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane.

7e52d654f7fe5f18ec84194d279881b0

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.

The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me? ” he thought. It wasn’t a dream.

a653d9b729b7f1e7eee52392179a742d

He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn’t have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. “Oh, God”, he thought, “what a strenuous career it is that I’ve chosen!

Travelling day in and day out. Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there’s the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them.

Illustrations by Risa Rodil.