Review

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After the Fall, a European Empire?

Recap of the book ‘The Decline’ by Professor David Engels

The Fall of Icarus (1635-1637) by Jacob Peter Gowy

Within twenty to thirty years, civil wars are going to break out throughout Europe, comparable to the wars Spartacus waged against Rome before the collapse of its republic. That’s what professor David Engels of Brussels’s Free University predicts in an (as usual) underexposed book Le Déclin (The Decline) that was also translated into German as...

The Meaning of Kafka's Metamorphosis

How an Army of Interpreters Buried Kafka's Suffering

The Meaning of Kafka's Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka’s Die Verwandlung (1915), i.e. The Metamorphosis, is a novella of around seventy printed pages. Kafka writes about the life of Gregor Samsa. The book opens with Gregor waking up one morning in his parents’ home. During his sleep, he has transformed into an “ungeheuren Ungeziefer”, a sort of giant dung beetle. Kafka avoids precisely naming the creature, except that it is some sort of insect. Whatever it is, it’s something unhuman.

Before his metamorphosis,...