Franz Kafka, who died in 1924, is in the news because of the actions of his disobedient literary executor. Max Brod, who fled Prague in 1939, left a valuable collection of the Czech existentialist's papers with his secretary. She died last year at 101, and her daughters may be keeping the materials in a Tel Aviv apartment overrun with cats, the New York Times reports.
Asked recently whether the documents were in the apartment, Hava Hoffe replied, "Do you think we are so stupid?" Brod, who ignored Kafka's instructions to burn his papers after his death, passed along documents and photographs of his own and Kafka's to Esther Hoffe. Her daughters are under pressure to release them and to keep them in Israel. Says a Kafka scholar: "This material belongs in Jerusalem."