Search

kafkaestblog

It is a whirlwind in here

Category

burn

Kafka And His Friend, Max Brod, Share A Laugh In Heaven

kafka-brod

(Max Brod + Franz Kafka w/ hat)

I kinda do wonder if Franz is whispering into Brod’s ear (wherever they may have ended up) “I told you to burn them.”

To which Brod would accurately reply, “You knew I wouldn’t. If you wanted it done, you would have done it yourself.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Franz Kafka archive reclaimed by Israel national library | Books | The Guardian

Israel’s national library has unveiled a missing batch of Franz Kafka’s papers, ending more than a decade of legal wrangling between Israel and Germany over the author’s legacy.

(more) https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/07/israel-national-library-unveils-reclaimed-franz-kafka-archive

 

Advertisements

Kafka Wants To Light A Fire – Well … Not Really

kafka-brod

Much is made – again and again – about Kafka’s famous request to his friend, Max Brod, that all his manuscripts be burned unread. That included all his fiction, all his letters, and all his diaries.  Consigned to the flames and removed from the earth.

Had this been done, most of the work for which Kafka is famous would never be known, for little was published during his life. His skewed yet realistic outlook on life, now famously known as Kafkaesque, would not be classed in every dictionary. A touchstone, known the world over, would have been lost. Kafka might, at best, been remembered as the man who wrote about the bug.

Brod gets a bum rap about defying Kafka’s direction to burn all his manuscripts. Yes, Kafka did indeed make this request of Brod. He apparently made it a few times, both verbally and in writing.  Each time, Bord told him outright he would not follow Kafka’s request. “It ain’t” – if I might slip into a vernacular the erudite Brod would ever use – “going to be me, chum.”

Another prominent time  Kafka refused to do something that he could have easily done himself, concerned his famous Letter To His Father. Instead of handing (or sending) the letter  to his father, he gave it to his mother to pass on, knowing full well his mother would not be part of causing such discord. And – in fact – his father never read the letter.

If Kafka really wanted all his manuscripts burned, he could have just as easily (indeed – more easily) done it himself. He certainly did burn much of what he wrote. Brod once found him doing it. It is estimated he burned 70-80% of his own work.

Kafka might have renewed his written request near the end of his life, but he made it to the one man whom he knew would not do it.

That was Kafka

Kafka Pages Survive Fire, History, And The Law

page-of-kafkas-writing-1(From Der Process by Franz Kafka)

Much keeps being made about Franz Kafka telling his best friend, Max Brod, to burn all of his (Kafka’s) manuscripts, and that Max did not do it. What keeps being overlooked is that Kafka made this request three or more times, and each time Max told him outright that he would not do it.

Kafka asked a person whom he knew would not burn his manuscripts to burn his manuscripts. That is a perfect encapsulation of Kafka. He could justify to himself that he tried. He made the effort.

Had he wanted them all burned, he would have done it himself.

So, now, some remaining manuscripts of Kafka have ended their own trial, and will be made available.

Brod estimated that Kafka actually did burn about 80% of all his own manuscripts. In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I have described such an incident, based on secondary sources. It follows the current News article about Kafka’s manuscripts.

DE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Franz Kafka literary legal battle ends as Israel’s high court rules in favor of library

  • Country’s supreme court rules manuscripts are the national library’s property
  • Estate’s heirs must hand over documents, which include unpublished writings
Franz Kafka had instructed Brod to burn the manuscripts after his death but his friend did not honor that request and took them with him when he fled the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939 and emigrated to Palestine.
Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to burn the manuscripts after his death but Brod took them with him when he fled the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Photograph: CSU Archives/Everett Collect/Rex

The nation’s top court on Sunday rejected an appeal by the heirs of Max Brod, a friend of Kafka and the executor of his estate to whom he had willed his manuscripts after his death in 1924.

Kafka had instructed Brod to burn the manuscripts after his death but his friend did not honor that request and took them with him when he fled the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939 and emigrated to Palestine.

On his death in 1968, Brod bequeathed the papers to his secretary Esther Hoffe, with instructions to give them to the “Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the municipal library in Tel Aviv or another organization in Israel or abroad”.

But Hoffe, who died in 2007, instead kept them and shared them between her two daughters – sparking multiple legal battles.

In the trial against Hoffe’s heirs, which began in 2009, the state of Israel demanded they hand over all the documents, which included unpublished writings, arguing it was Brod’s last will.

Hoffe’s daughters refused, however, saying the papers – estimated to be worth millions of dollars – had been given to their mother by Brod and therefore she could dispose of them any way she wanted.

In its ruling, the supreme court said: “Max Brod did not want his property to be sold at the best price, but for them to find an appropriate place in a literary and cultural institution.”

Hoffe had during her lifetime sold the original manuscript of The Trial –considered by some to be one of Kafka’s best works – for $2m.

The Hoffe family kept the bulk of the collection locked away in bank safety deposit boxes in Israel and Switzerland and over the years sold some papers to collectors.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/franz-kafka-papers-israel-court-ruling

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Excerpt from: Kafka In The Castle

 

18 April 1917

Max occasionally tells me that my writing makes a mockery of real life. But I find that the life which surrounds me  – which I wade through every day – makes a mockery of anything I can write. What place do my awkward dreams and petulant hopes have in this real world. “Do they keep me warm?” as my father asks. Father would have been happy – if far from understanding – had he been watching me this past hour. I wedded both worlds through flame. Passion enough for me, and heat enough for him.

On this abrupt cold day, in this chilled, unwelcoming house. I opened the empty, blackened stove, and prepared to make a fire. I read too many newspapers, so their pages were abundant. All this vague war news, getting more vague, and pointing only to disaster. A match struck against the side of the stove, and the war news erupted. A fitting end. Then, since I’m not allowed into their war so my flesh can perish, my other life could at least enter the inferno.

I took a pile of manuscripts from the chair and placed them into the flame. Page by page. Words and sentences marching. I didn’t even look to see what they were. Which characters vanished. Which actions ceased. All equal to me, and all equal to the flames. Some of the pages were older work, which I carry from house to house with the intent of making better. This time I succeeded. Other pages were created in this tiny house, where there are too many eyes at the windows, and too many years caught in the dust. They followed into the fire, sometimes by the handful.

And now, I ponder over these pages beneath my fingers. However, there is new wood within the stove, and for the moment, the heat sustains me.

 

 

19 April 1917

Max was horrified when I told him about last night. “You burned your stories? Are you crazy?”  “I wrote them, so I must be.”  He smiled at that. Max’s anger can be easily deflected, for it is never deep. Max is a very good man, and cares for me more than I do myself. “And the novel? The Amerika novel?” I told him that many chapters of that must have been burned. Probably right from the start – they were no doubt the first things I grabbed from the chair.  “Anything else?”  “There were a couple of plays. I remember pages of dialogue.”

Max’s voice became hollow. He might no longer be angry, but neither was he happy. “I didn’t know you had written any plays. You have secrets even from me.”  “I keep secrets from myself. Don’t be offended.”  “What else?”  I could picture him writing down an inventory. “Some diary entries – those were deliberate.”  “And was that the end of your pyromaniacal obsession?”  “Of my own work – yes.” He looked at me questioningly – he didn’t need another secret. “There were a couple of bundles of letters from Felice. Neatly tied with string. They burned slowly. I have not had such warmth from her for a long time.”

Fire And Murder: “Darkroom” Screenplay Excerpt

daed1c987a5d1f31ab274950fb878c2e

An agent from California is contemplating my novel manuscript for Darkroom. It is a first-person novel about Norman, a psycho serial killer who likes fire.

Oddly, the last agent to be interested in this novel was also from California. He made many suggestions, which I took. I also, from that interest, wrote a screenplay that I had totally forgotten. So let’s let Norman have a bit of action.

DE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

INT. DOOR – NIGHT

INT. SMALL ROOM – NIGHT

One dim table light is on. NORMAN sits huddled over the desk. Norman is a slenderman in his early twenties. He is humming “What’s Love Got To Do With It” as he works at the desk.

INT. DESK TOP – NIGHT

Norman is ripping rags and letting them fall into a pail at his feet. As he looks up and turns toward the door he rubs his finger over his bushy Hitler mustache. He smiles and nods and grabs more rags.

NORMAN
No one sleeps long tonight.

Norman tears additional rags, but now arranges them more carefully in the pail. He takesa can of lighter fluid from a desk drawer and puts it on the table. He looks at his watch.

NORMAN
Norman gives them another forty minutes.

Norman starts to unwind a long piece of wire.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

INT. LARGE ROOM – NIGHT

The lights are out with every bed filled. There is breathing and snoring and the creak of bedsprings.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Norman tiptoes along the hall. He holds the pail carefully in front of him.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

Norman takes the bottle of lighter fluid, and the wire, out of the pail. He squirts lighter fluid into the pail then drops the bottle into it. He carefully ties the wire at ankle height across the top step, winding it around the banister. He lights a whole book of matches and throws it into the pail.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Norman runs back to his own room.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

Flame erupts from the pail and smoke starts to billow.

 

(image) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/da/ed/1c/daed1c987a5d1f31ab274950fb878c2e.jpg

“Burning In Berlin” Screenplay / FADE IN:

adolf-hitlers-bunker-is-a-carpark-downfall-film-parody-time

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. BARREN FIELD WITH AUTUMN GRASS – DAY

 

Traffic sounds comes from the four streets bounding the field.

 

EXT. HILL IN FIELD – DAY

 

An information sign is at the foot of the hill. A newly-

painted Linden tree grows beside it.

 

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

THE INFORMATION SIGN READS Fehurer Bunker

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

A middle-aged TOUR GUIDE stands by the front seat, facing

the passengers.

TOUR GUIDE

The Berlin police don’t

want us any closer.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Tourist faces peering from the windows.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Tourists from the far side of the bus bend and peer

over those seated.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE ON HILL – DAY

 

One raven flutters and lands on a tree limb.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Two or three faces are pressed in each window.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Tour Guide is pointing through the window.

 

TOUR GUIDE

 

All of a sudden, the city says it

is unsafe. (laughs) They don’t want

to see all you rich tourists being

swallowed.

DE

(image) http://www.thetraveltart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Adolf-Hitlers-Bunker-Is-A-Carpark-Downfall-Film-Parody-Time.jpg

Kafka Makes Demands After He Is Dead

Much is made – again and again – about Kafka’s famous request to his friend, Max Brod, that all his manuscripts be burned unread. That included all his fiction, all his letters, and all his diaries.  Consigned to the flames and removed from the earth.

Had this been done, most of the work for which Kafka is famous would never be known, for little was published during his life. His skewed yet realistic outlook on life, now famously known as Kafkaesque, would not be classed in every dictionary. A touchstone, known the world over, would have been lost. Kafka might, at best, been remembered as the man who wrote about the bug.

I will point out that Brod gets a bum rap about defying Kafka’s direction to burn all his manuscripts. Yes, Kafka did indeed make this request of Brod. He apparently made it a few times, both verbally and in writing.  Each time, Bord told him outright he would not follow Kafka’s request. “It ain’t” – if I might slip into a vernacular it is unlikely the erudite Brod would ever use – “going to be me, chum.”

And I will also point out the obvious. If Kafka really wanted all his manuscripts burned, he could have just as easily (indeed – more easily) done it himself. He certainly did burn much of what he wrote. Brod once found him doing it.

Kafka might have renewed this written request near the end of his life, but he made it to a man whom he know would not do it. That was Kafka.

DE

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑