Sunday 23 October 2016

Kafka manuscripts go to Israeli National Library after Kafkaesque legal battle

Published 09/08/2016 | 09:16

Much of the material has never been published before
Much of the material has never been published before

Israel's supreme court has stripped an Israeli family of a collection of Franz Kafka manuscripts, ruling that the documents should be transferred to the country's National Library.

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The National Library said the court ruled it was "the preferred location" for the trove of unpublished Kafka works. The library said it will make the manuscripts accessible to the general public.

The decision puts an end to a years-long Kafkaesque courtroom saga, after two lower courts previously arrived at the same decision.

Eva Hoffe received the manuscripts, among other works, from her mother, the secretary of Kafka's confidant Max Brod, who kept and published Kafka's works after his death.

The family had argued that it was in rightful possession of the manuscripts.

Kafka was an author of surreal short stories and novels, the most famous of which is arguably The Metamorphosis, in which a man wakes up one day to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect. Kafka's novel The Trial concerns a man arrested and prosecuted for a crime which is never specified, with the law and legal processes involved seeming increasingly bizarre.


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