The eNotated In the Penal Colony - Franz Kafka & Jens Kruse

The eNotated In the Penal Colony

By Franz Kafka & Jens Kruse

  • Release Date: 2011-09-12
  • Genre: Classiques


Though most eBooks are simple conversions of paper books, "The eNotated In the Penal Colony" is a completely new approach that takes advantage of eBook technology by providing eNotations (electronic annotations), essays, and background information conveniently accessible through links and a comprehensive table of contents. Written by Kafka and Goethe scholar and Wellesley College German professor, Jens Kruse, this background biographical, historical, and interpretive information makes Kafka’s simple-to-read but difficult-to-understand and extremely disturbing European literature classic more accessible and the reading experience more satisfying.

Based on the Ian Johnston translation, with additional material translated by Dr. Kruse and others, and including 23 images, this eNotated edition extends Kafka’s writing by providing a new layer of information behind the text, which the reader can access before, during, and after the reading of “In the Penal Colony.” 

For instance, in the eNotations, Dr. Kruse, by highlighting the relevant words in the texts, provides links to eNotations that explain the function of the parts of the apparatus at the center of this story, elucidate the conflicting conceptions of law and justice at work in the story, their connection to the jurisprudence of the time, and to the larger historical context. These notes, together with the other elements of this edition, enable and enrich the reader’s understanding of this story.

“In the Penal Colony” is one of the most important European literary works of the early 20th century - compelling and disturbing, seemingly otherworldly and yet saturated with its historical context. Dr. Kruse provides a framework that, while not solving the puzzle Kafka left us, makes it much clearer and richer. 

Jens Kruse, born in Hamburg and educated in Germany and the United States has been studying and teaching Kafka for three decades and in this eNotated version of “In the Penal Colony” shares with the reader what he has learned during that process - by adding extensive eNotations, an introduction, a bibliography, a chronology, and topical essays on the Apparatus, Art, Gesture, History, Justice, Power, Reality and other themes that run through Kafka’s “painful story.”

If you are going to read Kafka for the first time - or reread him after some years - you will best enjoy and more effectively appreciate him with this unique eNotated edition. If you have not already done so you might also want to try Dr. Kruse’s edition of “The eNotated Metamorphosis.”