Professor Sallow inquires: how does language maim, enter, invade, violate, cut up, or write itself onto the body?

I should write this down in the margins...Interesting...I hadn't considered the body as metaphor for the potency and puissance of the written language, nor had I thought that the text spoke more of itself than of the narrative, the poor prisoner that must learn of his punishment the moment it is written on his body...

Let us look to the text to see the inscription of language at play: "When the man lies down on the Bed and it begins to vibrate, the Harrow is lowered onto his body. It regulates itself automatically so that the needles barely touch the skin; once contact is made the steel ribbon stiffens immediately into a rigid band. And then the performance begins. An ignorant onlooker would see no difference between one punishment and another. The Harrow appears to do its work with uniform regularity. As it quivers, its points pierce the skin of the body which is itself quivering from the vibration of the Bed. So that the actual process of the sentence can be watched, the Harrow is made of glass. Getting the needles fixed in the glass was a technical problem , but after many experiments we overcame the difficultly. No trouble was too great for us to take, you see. And now anyone can look through the glass and watch the inscription form on the body(Franz Kafka, "In the Penal Colony," 200).

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