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La colonie pénitentiaire et autres récits

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  237 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Si, dans un pays étranger, on est témoin de pratiques qui paraissent contraires au bon sens et à la justice, que doit-on faire ? La question obsède l'explorateur invité à assister à la punition du soldat indiscipliné dans la colonie pénitentiaire. Bizarre est l'instrument du supplice, mais plus bizarre encore celui qui s'est appointé exécuteur, ce tortionnaire illuminé qui ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published 1972 by Gallimard (first published October 1918)
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Greg
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection is interesting because it includes only the pieces that Kafka allowed to be published in his lifetime. This should be all we have of Kafka, everything else is Max Brod going against Kafka's wishes.

Picking up the complete stories of Kafka will give you more than this one will, but this is a pretty fine collection. The Penal Colony, A Hunger Artist and The Judgment are all collected here, which I think are really Kafka's three best short stories. You also get The Metamorphosis, wh
...more
Nikita Gurnani
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There has never been a time in which I have been convinced from within myself that I am alive. You see, I have only such a fugitive awareness of things around me that I always feel they were once real and are now fleeting away. I have a constant longing, and my dear sir, to catch a glimpse of things as they may have been before they show themselves to me. I feel that then they were calm and beautiful. It must be so, for I often hear people talking about them as though they were.” Franz Kafka, c ...more
daniel
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'the burrow' rules.
Kathie Harper
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a reread from college, same edition of the book I had so it brought back memories. A great addition to a recent trip in Prague where Kafka lived and so many references as we toured around the city. We even visited a museum that was completely devoted to him and his work. What an imagination!
Bryan
This review is for the Schocken Books edition of Franz Kafka’s The Penal Colony, first published in 1948, and then in this paperback format in 1961 and reprinted multiple times. It contains the longer stories of Conversation with the Supplicant, The Penal Colony, The Metamorphosis, The Judgment, A Hunger Artist, and A Country Doctor. Also included are eighteen shorter pieces—some as short as a paragraph—gathered under the sub-title Meditations, and three examples of Kafka’s occasional and diary ...more
Margaret
Well, I tried to read this collection. The first story, Conversation With the Supplicant, started off promisingly but I ultimately found it tedious and a little bizarre. The next section entitled Meditation, was a series of short essays (really, they just seemed like random thoughts) that today would be considered politically incorrect, such as the piece called The Wish to be a Red Indian. I also read The Judgement, which was a rather self-conscious tale, before giving up on page 67 (where The ...more
Armineh Nouri
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by my first ever read of Kafka, especially the unfinished travelogue. I did feel though that the translation was a little heavy-handed, which is why I've come down with a 4 star rating. But Kafka himself turned out to be much more sentimental than I had ever thought (or learned to think), and yet his tales remained captivatingly dramatic, poignant, and often times humorous. A very good read!
Karl
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as I'd hoped. I am, however, willing to give Kafka the benefit of the doubt and chalk some of that up to the translation, which was a tough slog. "Metamorphosis" is still a pleasure to read, but at the end of the day, I guess I'm still a junkie for plot and climax, which these stories only deliver in small amount.
Rgoldenberg
Powerful philosophical allegory! On so many levels--political, moral, religious. I am indebted to Arnold Weinstein (Brown University) and Hercert Czernak (Amerika Institut, Vienna, Austria) for sharing their profound insights on this work.
Maxime
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quatre étoiles pour la colonie pénitentiaire, mais seulement deux pour les autres nouvelles.
Siim
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

Had never read Kafka before and all I can say is, while his work might be slightly difficult to read; he can write well. The way he makes imaginary words so real is just awesome.

Mollie the Cat
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12942256
Sophie
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ecriture courte et saccadée, mais pas moins riche en émotions.
L'auteur sait en quelques lignes exprimer des émotions obtenues au bout de 300 pages, j'ai adoré !
Nouvelle découverte !
Kit
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
Ooh... Kafka's the best. I never tire of the penal colony, the bucket rider, the hunger artist, or the imperial message that is never going to get here.
Simon Hutchinson
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the great short story writers
Tristan
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
metamorphosis 5, penal colony 5, the judgment 5
Aaron
Feb 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time through I found these stories almost unbearably sad. I don't remember being so affected by them when I read them in class last year.
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Franz Kafka was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. He was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Bohemia (presently the Czech Republic), Austria–Hungary. His unique body of writing—much of which is incomplete and which was mainly published posthumously—is considered to be among the most influential in Western literature.

His stories include The Metamorpho
...more
More about Franz Kafka...
“There has never been a time in which I have been convinced from within myself that I am alive. You see, I have only such a fugitive awareness of things around me that I always feel they were once real and are now fleeting away. I have a constant longing, my dear sir, to catch a glimpse of things as they may have been before they show themselves to me. I feel that then they were calm and beautiful. It must be so, for I often hear people talking about them as though they were.” 0 likes
“And thus it happens that the reader, the closer he comes to the novel's end, the more he wishes he were back in the summer with which it begins, and finally, instead of following the hero onto the cliffs of suicide, joyfully turns back to that summer, content to stay there forever.” 0 likes
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