To honour the 130th birthday of Czech-born writer Franz Kafka, today’s Google Doodle takes the form of Gregor Samsa, protagonist of Kafka’s seminal novel Metamorphosis.
However, the doodle has not been rolled out to users in the UK and US.
Born on 3rd July 1883 in Prague, Franz Kafka was raised by middle-class parents and went on to become one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century. Alongside Metamorphosis, some of his other notable works include The Trial and The Castle.
Asking why Google chose to celebrate the author’s birthday with Metamorphosis and not any of his other novels, a blogger for the Guardian, William Burrows, said he believes Kafka’s last and famously-unfinished novel of judgement and retribution, The Castle, shows the author writing at his best.
“The Trial and Metamorphosis are full of their own depth, and their own complicated sadness, but they don’t strike the heart with the same poignancy as Kafka’s final, unfathomable novel.”
One Guardian writer – questioning why the search giant hasn’t chosen to offer users in the UK and US the chance to see the Doodle on their own Google home screens – pointed out that Kafka was a master of writing with a universal appeal that has survived into the 21st Century.
Google isn’t alone in celebrating current events and anniversaries; internet marketing companies often recommend that businesses incorporate current affairs and trending topics into their social media strategies.
The Metamorphosis Doodle is Google’s 22nd in the space of a month, and isn’t the first in that time to honour the birthday of a famous writer. On 10th June, Google unveiled an elaborate animated Doodle for celebrated children’s author Maurice Sendak’s 85th birthday, and another on 15th hailed the 250th birthday of legendary Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa.