Dow Jones, a News Corp company
News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services
The difﬁdent Kafka “wouldn’t last a day” in modern Israel, quipped one observer. Still, the state library fought to possess his papers.
For decades, a modest apartment on Tel Aviv’s Spinoza Street was the site of a tantalizing literary mystery. Piles upon piles of original manuscripts by Franz Kafka were said to be stored in decrepit conditions by Esther Hoffe, the former secretary and lover of Max Brod, Kafka’s close friend and literary executor. Instead of donating them to an archive, where they could be catalogued and made available to scholars, Hoffe was holding hostage priceless materials by one of the world’s greatest modernist writers. What might those papers yield: unknown diaries, letters, maybe even novels or short stories? And would anyone...