Volume 15, Issue 5/6, 2005
Kinds of an Ways to Wisdom
Edith H. Krause
Wisdom and the Tightrope of Being. Aspects of Nietzsche in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (1915)
This article illuminates Nietzsche’s and Kafka’s spiritual kinship and its manifestation in Kafka’s story The Metamorphosis. Nietzsche’s role as a practitioner of “disruptive wisdom” serves as the point of departure for the examination of Gregor Samsa’s untimely and abrupt transformation into a giant vermin. The article explores Gregor’s development in light of Zarathustra’s parable of the three metamorphoses of the spirit, and it examines the relevance of the myth of the Way in the protagonist’s search for meaning. Central to this discussion are Kafka’s and Nietzsche’s fascination with animal similes and Kafka’s modification of the Nietzschean metaphor of man as a rope.