Kafka and the Court Case: Background information when reading Forest Dark

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Forest Dark

A Novel

by Nicole Krauss

Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss X
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
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  • Published:
    Sep 2017, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Kafka and the Court Case

Franz KafkaWhile reading Nicole Krauss' novel Forest Dark, it occurred to me that although most lovers of literature know the name Franz Kafka, many might not realize that Kafka's rise to fame came mostly posthumously. Furthermore, even fewer people may know much about the court battle over his papers that finally reached its conclusion in 2016.

Franz Kafka died in Prague in 1924, leaving his papers to his friend Max Brod with instructions to "burn them unread." Brod, however, couldn't bring himself to carry out Kafka's dying wish, and succeeded in smuggling them out of Europe in 1939, just before the Nazis' invasion of Czechoslovakia. Brod brought the papers with him to (what was then) Palestine, and began editing and translating them, publishing some of Kafka's best-known works internationally. After World War II, Brod sent some of the papers to Kafka's sole surviving family member, his niece, and these are now in Oxford, England. When Brod died in 1968, he left the remainder of his ...

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