Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Kafka is a headliner! Franz Kafka is in theinternational news this week. July 3 marked the 125th anniversary of his birth with special events held in his honor in Germany and elsewhere. The following story broke July 8 in Ha'aretz , one of Israel's major daily newspapers, and today a follow up article appeared in The Guardian inLondon. The front page tease reads: Franz Kafka: Papers Found . The headline itself reads:
"End of a Kafkaesque nightmare: writer's papers finally come to light
Documents hoarded for 40 years in Tel Aviv flat by executor's secretary"
These are not thesame papers the Kafka Project is looking for in Eastern Europe, although I think it a lovely omen that this is the second Kafka discovery since the Magical Mystery Literary History tour began last month. The first discovery was in Prague in mid-June of a previously unknown, unpublished letter Kafka wrote to another lover, Julie Wohyrzek, in 1919. The papers which are about to be uncovered in Israel areextremely important to Dora's version of events. When they are made available, a second edition of my book, Kafka's Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant , will no doubt be necessary. These papers, which belonged to Max Brod, & contain & dozens of letters that Dora Diamant wrote to & Brod after Kafka's death in 1924 until her own death in 1952. They also contain Dora's last will, which no one but Max Brod (and Ester Hoffe) has seen. & It's an extremely important discovery, and the Kafka world is indeed "holding its breath."
There is also a fascinating review by Zadie Smith in TheNew York Review of Books (July 17, 2008) ofa new book about Kafka. Definitely worthwhile reading. Zadie Smith is a London-based best-selling, award-winning novelist & who made headlines herself last year with the announcement she was writing a musical about Kafka. One can only hope.
(Thanks to Ehud Gelb, Dale Estey, Steve Schlesinger and Miriam Shekter for keeping me informed while I'm on the road!) &