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No, not another report from Guantánamo. Ha’aretz reports that an Israeli court has cleared the way for the publication of a hitherto unknown work by the reclusive writer whose works cast such a shadow over the twentieth century.
A judge at Tel Aviv District Family Court on Tuesday rejected a request for a gag order on the contents of a box containing manuscripts written by Franz Kafka. Eva Hoffe, the Israeli woman who inherited the documents, was asked to pay court costs to the National Library and attorney Ehud Sol, the manager of the estate of Kafka’s close friend Max Brod. Judge Talia Pardo also instructed attorneys Tuesday to prepare a detailed list of the items in the safe deposit boxes to be published, which include all documents except the personal items of Esther Hoffe, Eva’s mother, who served as Brod’s secretary. Details on the other items – manuscripts by Kafka, Brod and others – will all ultimately be published.
Max Brod, who was Kafka’s executor, reported that Kafka had instructed that the materials be destroyed after his death. Brod defied the instructions, however, publishing a significant number of manuscripts, diaries, and letters. A number of important items remain unpublished, however, and a legal struggle continues over the archive, pitting the National Library in Jerusalem against the Archive of German Literature in Marbach.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”