Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Kafka Letters Headed for New Home

Over 100 letters and postcards that Jewish Czech-born writer Franz Kafka sent to his favorite sister, Ottla, have been purchased by the Bodleian library at Oxford University and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach, Germany, in a collaboration The Guardian described as “unprecedented.”
The letters have been on deposit in Oxford for 40 years but only for safe-keeping. About a year ago the owners, Kafka's descendants, said they were minded to put the letters to Ottla up for sale and it became clear that the Bodleian would not be able to afford the full amount, hence the successful approach to Germany.
Thomas said the Bodleian had relied on many private donors and it had felt, at times, like an American-style barn raising as they approached the scheduled auction date of 19 April.

Neither the purchase price nor the precise details of the arrangement have been released to the press. Other than that, The Guardian has the full story here.


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