“For more than 50 years, a vast treasure trove containing the bulk of the Czech author’s writing has been hidden away in 10 safety deposit boxes, tantalising Kafka enthusiasts around the world. Their hopes of unearthing a major literary find have come closer to fruition after Israel’s supreme court ended a two-year legal tussle over the ownership of Kafka’s estate by ordering that the boxes finally be opened. […]
The saga of publishing Kafka’s works is a long one, dating back to the author’s death from tuberculosis in 1924.
Shortly before he died, Kafka entrusted his portfolio to Max Brod, his biographer and mentor, asking him to destroy its contents.
Ignoring his friend’s wishes, Brod published some of the novels, such as The Trial and The Castle that were to propel Kafka into the pantheon of modern literary genius.
But he retained the bulk of the papers, taking them to Tel Aviv after fleeing the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and then leaving them to his secretary and, so rumour has it, lover, Ester Hoffe.”
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