‘Kafka’s Wound’: Re-imagining the Literary Essay for the Digital Age

  • Author: Will Self
  • Senior editor: Christian Lorentzen
  • Project lead: Nicholas Spice
  • Project manager: Helen Jeffrey
  • Project second: Rachael Beale
  • Digital development: Rachael Beale, Ben Campbell, Jeremy Harris, Chris Sowden
  • The Space mentor: Ian Potts
  • Digital archive researcher: Oliver Brock
  • Prototype development: Dean Claydon, We Create Digital; Vanja Garaj, Brunel University
  • Administrative support: Aniko Dobos
  • Promotion: Jill Tytherleigh

‘A Country Doctor’ by Franz Kafka

Translations from the German:

  • A P Watt on behalf of Michael Hofmann
  • Ian Johnston, Vancouver Island University

Audio and video performances:

  • ‘Ein Landarzt’ read by Johannes Birringer
  • ‘A Country Doctor’ read by Will Self; directed, filmed and produced by Ian Potts

Archive Material Courtesy of:

  • BBC
  • Bodleian Library, The University of Oxford
  • Faber & Faber/The Willa Muir Estate
  • Footage Farm
  • Imperial War Museum
  • John Banville
  • London Review of Books
  • National Centre for Jewish Film, Brandeis University, USA
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England, Hunterian Museum Photography
  • Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Wellcome Library, London

Creative Digital Responses to Kafka’s Story from Members of Brunel University

A Country Doctor

  • Joni-Rae Carrack
  • Carlo Ghidini
  • Alexandre Menexiadis
  • Mary Richards
  • Simon Richards
  • Nina Salomons
  • Sam Stolton
  • Josh Trotter
  • Emily Westlake

An Open Wound

  • Sean Gaston

Banner Videos

  • ‘Wound’: Vanja Garaj, Akram Khan, Kamil Kurylonek, Peter Wiegold, Jayne Wilton
  • ‘Berlin – Prague’: Camille Baker, Vanja Garaj, Kamil Kurylonek, Liba Taylor
  • ‘Write-up’: Vanja Garaj, Kamil Kurylonek
  • ‘Digital Essay’: Vanja Garaj, Kamil Kurylonek

Edith’s Eyes, Kafka’s Wound: Country Doctors in D.W. Griffith and Franz Kafka

  • William Leahy

I came into the world with a beautiful wound

  • Akram Khan
  • Peter Wiegold
  • Jayne Wilton
  • notes inégales, featuring Max Baillie on violin

Jayne Wilton’s work on this project was made possible by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust

Kafka Machinima

  • Olinkha Gustafson-Pearce
  • Amica Laran Lane

Klesmer Music

  • Composer: Peter Wiegold
  • Performance: notes inégales (Max Baillie, Jon Banks, Joel Bell, Martin Butler, Simon Limbrick, Tim Lines, Ben Markland, Peter Wiegold)

Living in his wound

  • Klaus Behringer
  • Johannes Birringer
  • Luca Forcucci
  • Carlo Ghidini
  • Aggeliki Margeti
  • Panos Papafragkos
  • Graeme Shaw
  • Wagner re-mix: RU-IN
  • Thanks to: Michèle Danjoux, the choreographic experiment  “Lung Pulmo Pneumo”
  • Archival film “Parsifal” (1995): Johannes Birringer, Imma Sarries-Zgonc, Wolfgang Bosse Konstell, Erika Bosse, Volker Lenkeit, Richard Mansfeld, Rainer Müller, Jo Siamon Salich


  • Broderick Chow
  • Carlo Ghidini
  • Alex Menexiadis
  • Panos Papafragkos
  • Tom Wells

The Game of the Wound

  • David Bessell
  • Douglas Brown
  • Tracy Cogsdill
  • Chris Cox
  • Freek Groeneveld
  • Tanya Krzywinska
  • Justin Parsler
  • Haley Uyrus

The Streets of Prague

  • Pavlina Blahova

Thanks also to Paul Moody and Craig Aburrow for their creative input

Wounds: A Digital Autopsy of a Literary Wound

  • Johannes Birringer
  • Broderick Chow
  • Carlo Ghidini
  • Alexandre Menexiadis
  • Paul Moody
  • Panagiotis Papafragkos
  • Mary Richards
  • Will Self

Special thanks to: Angeliki Margeti and Alexandros Papathanasiou

Documentary Films and Audio Made During the Project

Interview with Akram Khan

  • Akram Khan
  • Will Self

Interview with Nicholas Penny

  • Nicholas Penny
  • Will Self

Scenes from Will Self’s Kafka Journey

  • Will Self
  • Directed, filmed and edited by: Ian Potts

Translating Kafka

  • Anthea Bell
  • Joyce Crick
  • Amanda Hopkinson
  • Karen Seago
  • Will Self
  • Produced by: Ian Potts
  • Edited by: Derek Smith

Will Self’s Kafka Journey

  • Will Self
  • Liba Taylor
  • Directed, filmed and edited by: Ian Potts
  • National Centre for Jewish Film, Brandeis University, USA
  • New World Encyclopedia Commons
  • Wikimedia Commons

Writing Kafka’s Wound

  • Will Self
  • Nicholas Spice
  • Produced by: Margot Broderick