May 15, 2021

Rare Kafka Manuscripts to Go to Israel’s National Library, Court Rules

From The Guardian:

An Israeli court has awarded a rare collection of Franz Kafka’s manuscripts to the country’s national library, ending a long legal battle worthy of one of the Prague-born writer’s complex stories.

The judgment, published on Wednesday, ordered Tel Aviv resident Eva Hoffe to hand all the papers in her possession to the National Library of Israel.

Kafka died in 1924, with most of his work published after his death.

The author of “The Metamorphosis”, who wrote in German, entrusted his manuscripts and works to his friend, Max Brod, and instructed him to burn them after his passing.

But Brod did not honour Kafka’s wishes, and took the papers with him to Palestine when he fled Nazi persecution in 1939.

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The Israeli national library says it will eventually post the collection online.

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From the Jerusalem Post

The ruling ended over 90 years of controversy and multiple transfers of Kafka’s works.

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One dramatic result of the case will not merely be the transfer of the works to the National Library, but the fact that there will be access to them for the first time, since Eva Hoffe and her sister allegedly kept many of the works in safety deposit boxes, providing no manner of public access.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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