The presented essay analyses the animals appearing in the works of Franz Kafka, particularly often in the last years of the life of the author of The Trial. The realised conceptions are anticipated to a great extent by one of Kafka's earlier stories, 'A Report to an Academy', whose narrator is a chimpanzee subjected to humanisation. The fate of the leading protagonist could be treated as a concise history of anthropogenesis and, by following the example of Giorgio Agamben (L'aperto. L'uomo e l'animale), as the history of the origin and activity of the so-called anthropological machine, a motor force of the historization of man that places him outside the natural order. The subsequent stories by the author of The Metamorphosis continue those motifs, at the same time transcending the horizon delineated by them. The animal characters become increasingly ambiguous and are no longer animals or people concealed behind animal facades. The have turned into 'deformed' creatures, to cite an expression coined by Walter Benjamin in relation to the world of Kafka's works. The closing fragments of the essay analyse this 'deformed' world and the amorphous creatures populating it, especially Odradek, the protagonist of a brief text entitled 'The Householder's Concern'.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.