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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.”

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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

 

Kafka Disputed And Discussed In Present Day Court Of Law Trial

franz-kafka-the-trial-free-pdf-ebook
Well – wow!

This is something to cite when its time to promote my novel, Kafka In The Castle.

Come to think about it – it is worthy of a blog.

I side with the judge’s statement. Perhaps Kafka would have not pointed at this situation and said “I told you so”. But, he would have smiled in recognition.

However, if one sticks to the Urban Dictionary definition of “Kafkaesque”, then The Trial would not fit.

DE


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Fredericton hospital employee gets job back — again

Justice Hugh McLellan agrees with adjudicator’s take on Kafka in ruling

By Robert Jones, Posted: Sep 15, 2017 7:30 AM ATLast Updated: Sep 15, 2017 7:47 AM AT

Paul Lynch has been sterilizing the lab and medical equipment at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton for 12 years.

Paul Lynch has been sterilizing the lab and medical equipment at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton for 12 years. (Alan White/CBC)

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In a sometimes bizarre court hearing that eventually boiled down to an interpretation of the century-old writings of novelist Franz Kafka, a Fredericton hospital employee who disappeared from work without notice for several weeks has once again won the right to keep his job.

Paul Lynch, an environmental services worker or cleaner at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital initially won reinstatement to that position last winter after a labour adjudicator ruled his absence and firing had been the result of a “Kafka-like” situation he had fallen into.

That triggered an appeal from the local health authority, in part questioning the adjudicator’s understanding of Kafka, the Prague-born author whose works include The Castle, The Trial and The Metamorphosis, a literary dispute then taken up by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Hugh McLellan.

“I am not persuaded that the adjudicator’s expression ‘Kafka-like’ indicates error in his perspective or unreasonableness in his decision,” McLellan concluded.

Lynch had worked for the hospital for 12 years but failed to show up for his regular shift  on November 13, 2015. He was eventually fired after five weeks of unexplained absences.

It was later learned Lynch had been in jail the whole time and was unable to call the hospital.

Guilty plea, then custody

Three hours before his shift was to start he had attended court to face an impaired driving charge. He entered a guilty plea and although he expected to return later for sentencing, it was his seventh conviction and he was instead taken into custody on the spot.

Stanley Corngold

Internationally renowned Kafka expert Stanley Corngold says he would advise against anyone using references to Kafka in a court ruling. (Submitted)

Inmates are not permitted personal calls and Lynch was unable to make direct contact with the hospital during his 97 day stay in jail.

That, according to adjudicator John McAvoy, was right out of a Franz Kafka novel.

“No one who is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a limited term in New Brunswick should face the Kafka-like situation faced by Lynch in respect of his inability to contact his employer,” wrote McAvoy in ordering the hospital to reinstate Lynch.

“Here, citizens taken into custody by police and Corrections staff do not seemingly ‘disappear’ as did Lynch.”

Hospital lawyer disagrees

In appealing that decision to the courts, hospital lawyer Andrea Folster said McAvoy’s decision lacked “intelligibility” and especially panned his reference to Kafka.

“These extreme comments reflect the lens through which the Arbitrator deliberated this grievance and the overall unreasonableness of the Decision,” she argued.

“It’s an almost one to one correlation. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” – Stanley Corngold

A “Kafkaesque”  situation more accurately describes something nightmarish … strongly surreal … with an ethereal, evil, omnipotent power floating just beyond the senses … marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger,” Folster said citing the Urban Dictionary’s definition of the term.

But Justice McLellan had his own view of the literature.

“Kafka characters struggle against rules and forces that cannot be understood,” he said and ruled he saw enough oddities in Lynch’s situation to conclude the Kafka reference was not unreasonable.

“The result falls in the range of possible outcomes,” he said of Lynch’s reinstatement by the adjudicator.

Expert weighs in

Princeton scholar and internationally renowned Kafka expert Stanley Corngold says he’s not surprised  to hear the novelist became an issue in a New Brunswick court case — it happens frequently in the US — but advises against relying on any courthouse critiques of the writer.

“I wrote a paper not long ago in which I said ‘it’s a 100 per cent guarantee that anyone who uses the word Kafkaesque has not read Kafka,'” said Corngold.

“It’s an almost one to one correlation. They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

(source)http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-fredericton-hospital-employee-job-back-again-1.4290771

(image)holybooks.lichtenbergpress.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Franz-Kafka-The-Trial-Free-PDF-Ebook.jpg

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

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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

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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.”

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