The first shipment of items from the literary estate of Max Brod, the friend and literary executor of author Franz Kafka, was received by Israel’s National Library last week, Haaretz reported Tuesday. The shipment, which was received after being awarded to the library in a court ruling, contains papers from Kafka, one of the 20th century’s most influential writers.
The papers were finally delivered to the library after protracted legal battles involving Brod’s secretary Esther Hoffe, who shared Kafka’s manuscripts with her two daughters, ignoring Brod’s instructions to donate them to “the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the municipal library in Tel Aviv or another organization in Israel or abroad.” Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in August that that the manuscripts belong to the National Library. In 2009, Hoffe’s daughters denied the State of Israel’s demand that they turn over the documents, saying they belonged to their mother and were hers to do with as she saw fit.
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It appears that among the materials received, many are letters from Kafka to his friend Max Brod, manuscripts and drafts of Kafka’s work, as well as drafts of Max Brod’s work and letters to Kafka.
The National Library estimates that within Max Brod’s literary estate they will find letters and drafts of books written by Franz Kafka.
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