Drawings, journals, letters, sketches and booklets in Hebrew have been found by experts from the National Library of Israel in the Franz Kafka-treasure, acquired after nearly a decade of litigation, the Haarec newspaper reported Wednesday.
The public will first see the manuscripts they found, including sketches of Wedding Preparation in the Country, as well as the manuscript of the letter that reveals his father’s cruel behavior, the library announced at a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Economic and cultural treasures of valuable literary treasures have been found in the previously closed locker room. At the top of the list are three sketches of the 1907 short story “Wedding Preparation in the Countryside,” which shows that Kafka reduced his writing to 58 pages in the first version to five pages. This short story was widely published after Kafka’s death and was published in Hungarian.
Kafka’s famous writing in 1919, entitled Letter to My Father, was also found in the vault. At the time of writing, the writer was 36, outlining the emotional rudeness he had experienced in his childhood with his father. Kafka handed the letter to his mother, but it never reached his father.
The exploratory letter, which is difficult to read, is an important literary work in itself. The copy to the National Library of Israel was Kafka’s own typewriter, the last page handwritten.
Of particular interest in Israel is Kafka’s booklet for learning Hebrew. He practiced language in one of several series of booklets. His teacher was a young woman, Pua Ben Tuvim. The booklet sometimes contains Hebrew words with their German translations. Kafka, in a booklet not yet known, now presents a teacher strike in Palestine in 1922, in which teachers demanded a pay raise to start the school year. In addition, there is a cheerful, personalized letter to your teacher apologizing for your linguistic mistakes.
In these texts, David Bloomberg, president of the National Library, sees new evidence of Kafka’s Jewish and Zionist identity, which is a controversial issue among researchers. “It has become even clearer to us from the Hebrew booklets and letters dealing with Jewish settlements and Zionism in the Land of Israel that they have their place in the National Library of Israel,” Bloomberg said.
An important element of the newly acquired material is the diary of Kafka’s 1911 trip to Paris. Kafka and Max Brod traveled together and planned to write a novel from their two journals on the trip. In addition, the collection contains dozens of Kafka letters sent to Brod, including several postcards that Kafka gave two months before her death from tuberculosis. He mentioned in his postcards the worsening of his illness.
In addition to the texts, Kafka’s drawings and illustrations also appeared, most in a black cover booklet, but also on separate pages, mainly cartoons and portraits of others and herself.
Manuscripts will be cataloged by the library and published on the library’s website.
One of the most prominent writers of the twentieth century, Franz Kafka, died in 1924 at the age of 41, and before his death asked his friend Max Brod to burn his manuscripts. But Brod, recognizing his talent and importance, arranged and published his works. In 1939, before the German occupation, Max Brod emigrated to Palestine at that time and took Kafka’s writings with him.
For the next three decades, he continued to edit and publish Kafka’s writings until his death in 1968. He transferred some work to the Oxford University Library in the sixties, but kept the rest. After Brod’s death, her entire estate was inherited by her secretary, Esther Hoffe, with the task of placing Kafka’s writings in a science institute. However, Hoffe retained the documents for the next four decades, selling some of them. The manuscript of the lawsuit sold for $ 1.8 million at an 1988 auction. Some of the collection was kept in a Tel Aviv safe, others in Switzerland and manuscripts kept in Tel Aviv’s apartment.
Following the death of Esther Hoffe in 2008, two daughters of the collection went to court to fight for the inheritance, but in 2016 they lost their lawsuit against the State of Israel. The contents of the hidden safes have thus been placed in the National Library.