I can't promise this will be the last I post about this new wealth of Kafka material (with some original writing by Kafka himself). It was a trial of four years but a wait of decades. How Kafka would react to see this leap of his work go from obscurity to an international internet presence (when that happens) is something I'll ponder. I doubt his reaction would be negative (or he would have burned them himself). Some of Brod's (Kafka's friend) material might also shed light upon where Kafka's Berlin manuscripts from the last year of his life have been transported. Brod did have contact with Kafka's Berlin lover, who had the manuscripts stolen from her by first the Nazis and then the Communists. I plan a second novel about Kafka in this Berlin time frame. A vested interest, I know - but get it accessible, please.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Huge Franz Kafka archive to be made public
Israeli judge rules that disputed cache of papers belonging to Max Brod should be published
by Alison Flood
Carried out of Prague in a suitcase in 1939 and kept hidden for decades, a huge collection of documents by Franz Kafka and his friend Max Brod is set to be made public for the first time following a ruling by a Tel Aviv judge.
The long-running trial over the ownership of the manuscripts came to a conclusion on Sunday, when judge Talia Kopelman-Pardo ruled in Tel Aviv that the collection should be handed to the Israeli National Library in Jerusalem. The library has said that it will publish the documents, which run to tens of thousands of pages and include notebooks of Kafka's writing, online.
Kafka left his writing to his friend Max Brod on his death in 1924, ordering him to burn it. Instead, Brod released the novels – The Castle, The Trial and Amerika – which would make Kafka one of the greatest literary names of the 20th century. Much of the author's work remained unpublished, however, and Brod eventually fled Europe in 1939 for Palestine, carrying a suitcase filled with Kafka's manuscripts. On his death, Brod bequeathed his archive – which includes Brod's diary, Kafka's notebooks and letters - to his secretary Esther Hoffe, who sold part of it, and left it to her daughters when she died in 2007. They have argued that the collection, kept in safes in Tel Aviv and Zurich, was a gift, and were backed by the German Literature Archive, which wished to purchase the collection.