November 17, 2003

Ashes of Kafka

Here's something I'd like to think I forgot but which I think I didn't know. Max Brod did not honor Franz Kafka's request to destroy his unpublished manuscripts, diaries and letters (Brod says he told Kafka he wouldn't honor the request). But someone else, who had other works of Kafka in her possession, honored the request.

The letter ... went on to direct Brod to burn all of Kafka's manuscripts, "without exception and preferably unread." Another note, written later, reiterated the command even more emphatically; and Dora Dymant, the young woman with whom Kafka shared the last year of his life, obediently did destroy those portions of the Kafka hoard within her keeping. (Emphasis added.)

Quoted from the forward by John Updike to The Complete Stories.

Posted by Ideofact at November 17, 2003 11:50 PM