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 A number of important items remain unpublished, however, and a legal struggle continues over the archive, pitting the National Library in Jerusalem against the Archive of German Literature in Marbach.