A Pedantic Note — Not Intended to Alienate

While introducing the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, I mentioned that other translations of the being into which Gregor Samsa changed included insect and cockroach.  I have also seen pest.  However, the German word “Ungeziefer” does indeed mean vermin.  It can mean the others, but only as a plural (if I’m reading things right) and clearly Gregor is singular.  In fact, that is what alienation is all about anyway.

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