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Encyclopedia > The Penal Colony

In the Penal Colony (original title In der Strafkolonie) is a short story by Franz Kafka set in some unnamed penal colony.

The story is about the last execution by an elaborate torture machine designed to engrave moralizing slogans into the flesh of the condemned to educate him in his prolonged agony. The inventor is so dismayed about the lack of public recognition for this educational device that in the end he thrusts himself into the machine and is impaled on the engraving shaft. As in other of Kafka's writings, the narrator is detached from, or perhaps numbed by, events that one would normally expect to be registered with horror.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Convicts and the British colonies in Australia - Australia's Culture Portal (2004 words)
From 1788 to 1823, the Colony of New South Wales was officially a penal colony comprised mainly of convicts, marines and the wives of the marines.
Convicts formed the majority of the colony's population for the first few decades, and by 1821 there was a growing number of freed convicts who were appointed to positions of trust and responsibility as well as being granted land.
In 1824, the penal colony at Redcliffe was established by Lieutenant John Oxley.
Philip Glass: In The Penal Colony (659 words)
Glass' new "opera theatre work" In The Penal Colony is a pretty faithful translation of Kafka's long short story of the same name which was written in 1914 and published 5 years later.
In The Penal Colony is written for 2 singers -- tenor and baritone -- 1 speaking actor, 2 non-speaking ones and an unamplified string quintet, and it lasts 80 minutes, and adding anything else would have blunted its power.
In The Penal Colony has been variously interpreted as an indictment of capital punishment, a parable of social responsibility and a study in obsession.
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