Just ran across this titillating news from Publisher’s Weekly—
Kafka Safety Deposit Boxes Being Opened
Craig Morgan Teicher — July 19th, 2010
Ten safety deposit boxes containing papers left by Franz Kafka to his friend and executor Max Brod, are being opened by court order in Tel-Aviv and Switzerland, where they are housed, according to Haaretz. The boxes, which had been unopened for 40 years, belong to Eva Hoffe, who was Brod’s secretary. Here’s more from the story:
Researchers and experts from Israel and Germany believe that some of the boxes may contain manuscripts by Kafka, widely considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, or documents that can shed additional light on the mysterious life of the artist.
The scene sounds like it came out of a movie, with suited lawyers barging into a bank where some of the boxes were kept, court order in hand, while Eva Hoffe charged in screaming in an effort to stop the boxes from being opened. Apparently, there is a long and complicated saga leading up to this even, involving Haaretz itself filing a suit to have these papers made public.
At present, all that’s slated to happen is that the lawyers will compile an inventory of what’s in the boxes. Then it will be up to a court to judge whether their contents are the private property of Hoffe or whether they should be transferred to a public archive. Perhaps, for Kafka fans and scholars, there is interesting news on the way…