Wednesday, December 09, 2020

First Paragraph

He stood outside the gates of Tegel Penitentiary, a free man. Only yesterday, he had been on the allotments with the others, hoeing potatoes in his convict stripes, and now he was wearing his yellow summer duster, they were hoeing and he was free. He leant against the red wall and allowed one tram after another to pass, and he didn't take any of them. The guard on the gate strolled past him a few times, pointed to the tram, he didn't take it. The awful moment was at hand (awful, why so awful, Franz?), his four years were up. The black iron gates he'd been eyeing with increasing revulsion (revulsion, why revulsion) for the past year swung shut behind him. He was being put out. The others were inside, carpentering, varnishing, sorting, gluing, with two years ahead of them, with five years. He was standing at the tram stop.

- From Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

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