Kafka’s Place after the Tel Aviv Trial

New York, NY

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Event Details

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center Arnold Hall
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor
Admission is free, but reservations are required

In the past few years, the fate of Franz Kafka’s letters and manuscripts has become a matter of literary and national importance.  Bequeathed from Kafka to his friend and confidant Max Brod to be burned, the manuscripts themselves have undergone a Kafkaesque journey.  Following a national and international dispute, a Tel Aviv court ruled in October 2012 that the Brod Kafka archives belong in the National Library of Israel.  The trial is not yet over, though.  With the support of the German Literature Archive in Marbach, Brod’s heir has initiated an appeals process. What is the proper place for Kafka’s manuscripts?  Do they belong in public or private hands?  Do they belong in Israel, Germany, or elsewhere?  What are the literary, religious and historical implications of the Israeli court decision?  Join American-Israeli Comparative Literature scholar Mark Gelber and Kafka specialist Mark Anderson as they debate this momentous Israeli court decision and its larger implications. The panelists will consider whether justice has been served both in its juridical and poetic sense.  Vivian Liska, professor of German Literature and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, will moderate.

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Cultural Studies Program at The New School for Public Engagement, the Humanities Department at The New School for Public Engagement, the Liberal Studies Department of The New School for Social Research, Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College, and Jewish Studies at Eugene Lang College.