For decades, unpublished papers by the Jewish Czech writer, Franz Kafka, have been hidden away in safety deposit boxes in Zurich, Switzerland and Tel Aviv, Israel. Israel’s supreme court recently ordered that the boxes, which contain thousands of handwritten documents by one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century, be opened. However, there is still an ongoing legal dispute about who owns the collection of private papers. It is not yet known whether the public will ever get to see them.
We speak with the founder and director of the Kafka Society of America, Marie Luise Caputo-Mayr. Kafka ordered his writings to be destroyed after his death, and there is much excitement surrounding these new papers as they could help to establish more about the author.