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Who owns Franz Kafka?

The battle over Kafka's legacy is worthy of one of the author's surreal novels

By Samuel Earle   March 2019
Kafka's mess © Wikimedia commons

Kafka's mess © Wikimedia commons

Between 2009 and 2016, Franz Kafka’s unpublished manuscripts became the subject of an intense legal battle in Israel’s courts. Shortly before he died in 1924, the author famously asked his friend Max Brod to burn the lot. Brod refused, and after he died in Israel in 1968, the question turned to the ownership of Kafka’s works. Benjamin Balint tells the absurd and thrilling tale in his new book.

Three separate parties laid claim to Kafka’s manuscripts: Eva Hoffe, the…

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