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Cockroach Man Makes Front Page Of Google

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Have any of you been to Google.com today? If not, hurry over there and take a look at Google’s latest “doodle” logo. In place of the regular multi-colored text, today on July 3, Google doodled a cockroach coming through a door. He is even donning “press hat”, bow tie and a briefcase. A little odd, don’t you think?

Goodle Doodle of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Goodle Doodle of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Every once and a while Google will roll out a new doodle on their front page, typically to commemorate the birthday of a historical figure or the anniversary date of an important event. June 3rd, 2013 would mark the 130th the birthday of Franz Kafka, a German writer and novelist known for his abstract and existential themes. After earning a law degree and working at an insurance agency, Kafka spent much of his spare time writing novels and short stories. He would later leave his job, dedicating the remainder of his life to his works. Many of his writings were heavy themed, dealing with such topics as alienation, parent and child conflict and bureaucracy.

Google’s doodle honors Kafka iconic novella The Metamorphosis, the story of a salesman named Gregor Samsa who woke up one day to discovery that he had mysteriously metamorphosed into a “monstrous vermin”. Scholars have since interpreted Kafka’s idea as a giant bug or insect, most similar to a cockroach. Gregor, horrified by his new appearance, confines himself to his apartment. When family and work colleagues coming looking for him, he finds it difficult to communicate through the doorway because his voice has also transformed.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Long story short, his sister starts to take care of him as he soon becomes completely dependent on her for survival. His family soon after starts to feel the financial burden of his transformation, as Gregor was a primary source of income for other members of his family. He has a few run-ins with his dad. He eventually dies and his family is actually happy and relieved as they feel the financial burden has been lifted.

Yeah, I know, not necessarily the happiest story you’ve heard today, but The Metamorphosis and other of Kafka’s writings are considered some of the most influential writings of the 20th century.

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  1. Sam says

    I read “The Metamorphosis” a mighty long time ago, but google’s depiction of the roach is really pretty far-fetched from Kafka’s novella. Really cartoonish and more along the lines of Archy and Mechitabal – the early 20th centure comic strip of a roach and a cat – great buddies .. and Archy the roach writing stories on a typewriter one key at a time.
    I think the Metamorphosis was much darker, along the lines of the second “The Fly” film – a masterpiece in science fiction horror. But Google never wants to express itself so darkly, so we have this creature — … If anyone has the courage, do read “The Metamporphosis”.. I am going to do it again… first taking a deep breath, and perhaps plying myself with some good ice cream as contrast to the darkness of the book.