In the Penal Colony

Cover image for

Download


Author: Franz Kafka
Published: 1919
Language: English
Wordcount: 11,833 / 33 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.8
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 7,601
Added to site: 2005.04.06
mnybks.net#: 10158

This translation, which has been prepared by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC, Canada, is in the public domain and may be used by anyone, in whole or in part, without permission and without charge, provided the source is acknowledged, released October 2003.

Show Excerpt

tically in such a way that it touches the body only lightly with the needle tips. Once the machine is set in this position, this steel cable tightens up into a rod. And now the performance begins. Someone who is not an initiate sees no external difference among the punishments. The harrow seems to do its work uniformly. As it quivers, it sticks the tips of its needles into the body, which is also vibrating from the movement of the bed. Now, to enable someone to check on how the sentence is being carried out, the harrow is made of glass. That gave rise to certain technical difficulties with fastening the needles securely, but after several attempts we were successful. We didn't spare any efforts. And now, as the inscription is made on the body, everyone can see through the glass. Don't you want to come closer and see the needles for yourself."

The Traveler stood slowly, moved up, and bent over the harrow. "You see," the Officer said, "two sorts of needles in a multiple arrangement. Each long needle has a

Reviews

Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
2013.09.02
Paulo Respighi
*****

A foreign traveler to an island penal colony is invited to watch the execution of a stupid, insubordinate soldier by a machine which will essentially tattoo him to death.

A bizarre and horrifying story about the grotesque things power allows people to do.

2011.08.02
LOTTIGEE
****.

Read this short story by chance after reading Kafka on the Shore which makes a passing reference to it. Something about it makes me think I'll return to it, full of ambiguity and a little disturbing but worth reading if you like to think about society, greed and desire for change, often at a cost.


SUBSCRIBE TO MANYBOOKS 

FREE EBOOKS 

Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

The Titan Drowns: Time Travel Romance

New Atlantis Time Travel Romance Book 6
Nhys Glover

2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER

"Heroism and... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

Valkyrie's Vengeance

Loki's Wolves Book 0
Melissa Snark

Fans of paranormal and urban fantasy will enjoy... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

Helga: Out of Hedgelands

Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1
Rick Johnson

VOLUME ONE in the WOOD COW CHRONICLES series. <... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

Mademoiselle At Arms

A Georgian Romance
Elizabeth Bailey

Set in the late Georgian era, Elizabeth Bailey’... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

Chausiku

Nightmare of the Clans Book One
Pamela E. Cash

There are six secret clans across the world–Afr... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

The Tales of Tim Hurtletuta - New Beginnings

Tales of Tim Hurtletuta Series, Book 1
Matthew James Wilkins

"Tim Hurtletuta has forgotten something. He can... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

After the Cure

Deirdre Gould

Eight years ago the December Plague swept throu... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

The Unveiling

Book One (Age of Faith 1)
Tamara Leigh

12th century England: Two men vie for the thron... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

Healing Her Heart

Crystal Lake Series Book 1
Laura Scott

Dr. Gabe Allen has a rule about dating colleagues... Read more

Cover image for In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka - Free eBook

Never A Choice

The Choices Trilogy #1
Dee Palmer

Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few... Read more

(advanced)
login | register

User ID

Password

reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Clarimonde
by Théophile Gautier
War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy
The ''Genius''
by Theodore Dreiser
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
The Secret Adversary
by Agatha Christie
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë

See more popular titles from this genre.