Franz Kafka: In der Strafkolonie [In the Penal Colony]

(1919 words)
  • William J. Dodd (University of Birmingham)

In der Strafkolonie [In the Penal Colony] is one of the most memorable and provocative exemplars of Kafka’s idiom in what might be called the “punishment” phase of his writing, from 1912 to 1915. As in “Der Heizer” [“The Stoker”, written in 1912, the first chapter of the America novel], “Das Urteil” [“The Judgment”, 1912], “Die Verwandlung” [“The Metamorphosis”, 1912], and Der Prozess [The Trial, 1914-15], punishment is grossly disproportionate to any guilt that may have been incurred, and indeed by any reasonable measure, the misdemeanour being punished here can scarcely be counted a crime, let alone a capital one. The description of the elaborate execution apparatus …

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Dodd, William J.. "In der Strafkolonie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2005
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]