Arts & Culture

The Kafka Papers vs. the Ginsberg/Kerouac Letters

The title might be a bit misleading, but it seemed alright considering it’s been a good season for Jewish men of letters. The news that ten safety deposit boxes holding documents of Franz Kafka’s were forcibly opened in Tel Aviv … Read More

By / July 20, 2010

The title might be a bit misleading, but it seemed alright considering it’s been a good season for Jewish men of letters.

The news that ten safety deposit boxes holding documents of Franz Kafka’s were forcibly opened in Tel Aviv made world headlines.  What’s in the boxes?  Who knows?  Could be brilliance, or it could be another The Original of Laura.  The best part about the whole thing: we might never find out!

 

The team of lawyers will draw up an inventory of the documents they find in the boxes and present it to the Tel Aviv court. Judge Talia Pardo Kupelman will then determine the documents’ status – whether they are the private property of the Hoffe sisters, who can then do with them whatever they want, or whether they constitute a literary treasure that must be transferred to a public archive.

 

 

Last week also saw the release of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, a book that probably doesn’t need much explanation — unless of course you’ve never written a letter, which is actually entrly possible.  

I especially like this Ginsberg quote: 

 

"I am neither romantic nor a visionary, and that is my weakness and perhaps my power; at any rate it is one difference. In less romantic and visionary terms, I am a Jew, (with powers of introspection and eclecticism attendant, perhaps.) But I am alien to your natural grace, to the spirit which you would know as a participator in America."