Kafka's Work Trapped in a Kafkaesque Legal Fight

Somehow it fits that the long-hidden trove of never-published writings by Franz Kafka are trapped in a situation that can only be called "Kafkaesque":

Ten safety deposit boxes of never-published writings by Franz Kafka, their exact contents unknown, are trapped in courts and bureaucracy, much like one of the nightmarish visions created by the author himself.

The papers, retrieved from bank vaults where they have sat untouched and unread for decades, could shed new light on one of literature's darkest figures.

In the past week, the pages have been pulled from safety deposit boxes in Tel Aviv and Zurich, Switzerland, on the order of an Israeli court over the objections of two elderly women who claim to have inherited them from their mother.

"Kafka could easily have written a story like this, where you try to do something and it all goes wrong and everything remains unresolved," said Sara Loeb, a Tel Aviv-based author of two books about the writer. "It's really a case of life imitating art."


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It seems fairly obvious that the Israeli National Library is using legal shenanigans to try to steal something that doesn't belong to it. Talk about living up to a stereotype. Also, I'm surprised that an Israeli court has jurisdiction to order the seizing or inspection of safety deposit boxes in Switzerland -- those Swiss banks just aren't what they used to be. Pretty sick that after they failed in their legal efforts to take the old woman's property while she was alive, they waited for her to die and then pounced on her estate.
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