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Papers of Franz Kafka

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The Bodleian Library holds the majority of Franz Kafka's papers. The collection comprises diaries (MSS. Kafka 1-12) and travel diaries (MSS. Kafka 13-14), letters and postcards (MS. Kafka 49-51), aphorisms (MS. Kafka 43), German-Hebrew vocabularies and Hebrew exercises (mainly in MSS. Kafka 29-33), and a small number of photographs (MS. Kafka 55). The literary notebooks include two (out of three) unfinished novels, Das Schloss ( The Castle) (MSS. Kafka 34-9) and Der Verschollene ( America) (MSS. Kafka 15-17), and short stories: Die Verwandlung ( The Metamorphosis) (MS. Kafka 18A), Das Urteil ( The Judgment) (MS. Kafka 6, fols. 15-27) as well as others (in alphabetical order): Ein altes Blatt, Der Bau, Beim Bau der chinesischen Mauer, Ein Bericht für eine Akademie, Das Ehepaar, Elf Söhne, Ein Hungerkünstler, Der Jäger Gracchus, Josefine die Sängerin and others. There are drawings by Kafka (sketches and doodles) in MSS. Kafka 1, 2, 10, 11, 19, 23, 26, 33, 46, 49, and 50 (see the folio references for descriptions).

Dates

  • 1882-1940

Extent

6.05 Linear metres (55 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

The manuscripts are predominantly in German, with some in Czech and some in Hebrew.

Conditions Governing Use

Readers needing access to these manuscripts will be asked to consult printed and electronic surrogates in the first instance. To request access to original manuscripts, please make a written application to the Bodleian well in advance of a visit.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Kafka 1, fols. 1-2].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Kafka 1-55

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6922, 9240, 9357, 15375, 15376

Overview

Papers of Franz Kafka (1883-1924) comprising diaries and literary notebooks, with some loose fragments, correspondence and photographs, 1882-1924, and some family papers to 1940. Predominantly in German, some correspondence in Czech and vocabularies in Hebrew. Drawings by Kafka are also present.

Biographical / Historical

Franz Kafka was born on 3 July 1883 into a German-speaking, Jewish family in Prague in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire. He studied at the Charles University in Prague, graduating in 1906 with a doctorate in law. He spent most of his legal career in the Workers' Accident Insurance Institute from which he retired early on health grounds. Kafka never married, although was engaged twice to Felice Bauer. There were other women in his life, including Milena Jasenska with whom he corresponded extensively, and Dora Diamant who was his companion in the last two years of his life. He died of tuberculosis on 3 July 1924 at the age of 41. As one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Kafka and his writings are the subjects of a great number of works. The most comprehensive biography was written by Reiner Stach, Kafka (3 vols., 2002-14, translated into English by Shelley Frisch (2005-17)).

Arrangement

Most of the Kafka papers now in the Bodleian were listed and assigned numbers by J.M.S. (Sir Malcolm) Pasley in Modern Language Review, vol. 57, no. 1 (Jan. 1962), pp. 53-55 (with a few unpublished passages printed on pp. 55-59). The Kafka Kritische Ausgabe assigned new numbers, mainly in the same order as Pasley's. Neither set of numbers was written on the manuscripts themselves, but are referred to in the present catalogue. The Kritische Ausgabe also assigned folio numbers to the leaves of each manuscript – but usually excluding the flyleaves, and sometimes excluding loose leaves inserted in the volumes. These folio numbers were not written on the leaves themselves. The present foliation corresponds to the Kritische Ausgabe numbers, using a, b, etc. where inserted leaves needed to be numbered. The totals usually differ from the published totals, as flyleaves and inserted leaves are included in the present foliation. Detached leaves have been kept with, or returned to, their original notebooks, when on conservation grounds this seemed right. Otherwise they have been kept separately in fascicules. The titles written in this catalogue in italic script are titles provided by Kafka, those in roman script are titles assigned by editors. The titles given in square brackets are not written on the manuscripts themselves. The physical description of the manuscripts is given in great detail in the Kafka Kritische Ausgabe, Apparatbände (see references in individual catalogue entries), including binding, colours of papers and inks, watermarks, measurements, note of original notebooks (for loose leaves), description of texts and where printed (text volumes, and variants and some paragraphs not related to the main text in Apparatbände), earlier page numbers and notebook numbers, additions in later hands (e.g. by Max Brod), notes of drawings, shorthand passages, and the location of leaves and notebooks separated from the collection over the years before 1961. Most of this information has not been repeated in the present catalogue. This catalogue owes a great deal to the Kafka Kritische Ausgabe, a set of which was very kindly donated by S. Fischer Verlag to the Bodleian, and to the time and advice so kindly provided by Dr Hans-Gerd Koch, who also provided the index of titles and its KKA numbers.

Abbreviations used in the catalogue:
  1. (A) after a title indicates Apparatband (one of which accompanies each text volume of the Kafka Kritische Ausgabe)
  2. beg. begins
  3. Briefe Briefe 1900-1912 (KKA, 1999- )
  4. DLA Deutsches Literaturarchiv (Marbach)
  5. Drucke Drucke zu Lebzeiten (KKA, 2 vols., 1994-6)
  6. KKA Kafka Kritische Ausgabe
  7. MLR Modern Language Review, vol. 57, no. 1 (Jan. 1962), pp. 53-55
  8. Nachgelassene Nachgelassene Schriften und Fragmente (KKA, 4 vols., 1992-3)
  9. rev. reversed (where e.g. a notebook is turned round, and the text is written from the 'back')
  10. Process Der Process (KKA, 2 vols., 1990)
  11. Schloss Das Schloss (KKA, 2 vols., 3rd ed., 1994)
  12. Stroemfeld Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe sämtliche Handschriften, Drucke und Typoskripte, ed. Roland Reuß and Peter Staengle (Stroemfeld/Rote Stern, Frankfurt am Main and Basel, 1995-)
  13. Tagebücher Tagebücher (KKA, 3 vols. – text, Apparatband, and Kommentarband – 1990)
  14. Verschollene Der Verschollene (KKA, 2 vols., 2nd ed., 1983)

Other Finding Aids

Index of titles used by Kafka (italic) or others (roman), with references to the Kritische Ausgabe numbers (KBod …) and the Bodleian shelfmarks (MS. Kafka …). Folio numbers relate to both recto and verso sides, unless accompanied by "r" for recto or "v" for verso. There is also an index of the first lines of all the literary entries in the Tagebücher, in the Kommentarband, pp. 297-302, with page and line references to the printed text.
  1. Die Abweisung - (KPriv BIII, 13) private owner; not in the Bodleian
  2. Die Abweisung (Unser Städtchen liegt nicht etwa ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fols. 7-10r
  3. Das achte Oktavheft (Oktavheft F) - (KBod AIII, 6) MS. Kafka 24
  4. Die Aeroplane in Brescia - no manuscript known to exist
  5. Eine alltägliche Verwirrung (Ein alltäglicher Vorfall ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fols. 6v -8r
  6. Ein altes Blatt - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21, fols. 28-31
  7. Am Fenster = Zerstreutes Hinausschaun
  8. Amerika ( Der Verschollene) - (KBod AI, 6 + KBod AI, 2 + KBod AI, 13-15 + KBod BI, 1-3) MSS. Kafka 2, fols. 38-49a; 6, fols. 29v-44; 15-17; 42, fols. 1-30
  9. Aphorismen- (KBod BIII, 2; C, 4) MSS. Kafka 43 and (typescript) 47, fols. 29-47
  10. Auf dem Dachboden - (KBod AIII, 1) MS. Kafka 19, fols. 11-12
  11. Auf der Galerie - no manuscript known to exist
  12. Der Aufbruch (Ich befahl mein Pferd ...) - (KBod AI, 17) MS. Kafka 27, fol. 2v
  13. Der Aufruf, various fragments - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fols. 30 ff., with (In unserem Haus ...) on fols. 32v-3
  14. Aus Matlárháza - no manuscript known to exist
  15. Der Ausflug ins Gebirge ('Ich weiß nicht', rief ich ...) - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  16. Die Auskunft = Ein Kommentar
  17. Die Bäume ('Wir sind nämlich ...') - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  18. Der Bau (Ich habe den Bau eingerichtet ...) - (KBod BII, 6) MS. Kafka 46, fols. 10-25
  19. Bei den Toten zu Gast (Ich war bei den Toten zu Gast ...) - (KBod BII, 1 + B II, 2/B II, 3) MS. Kafka 45, fols. 3v-6
  20. Beim Bau der chinesischen Mauer - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21, fols. 3-27
  21. Bericht eines Affen an eine Akademie = Ein Bericht für eine Akademie
  22. Ein Bericht für eine Akademie (Hohe Herren ...) - (KBod AIII, 4) MS. Kafka 22, fols. 27v-40
  23. Beschreibung eines Kampfes Fassung A + Fassung B - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  24. Die besitzlose Arbeiterschaft - (KBod AIII, 8) MS. Kafka 26, fols. 22v-24r
  25. Ein Besuch im Bergwerk - no manuscript known to exist
  26. Betrachtungen über Sünde, Leid, Hoffnung und den wahren Weg = Aphorismen
  27. Bilder von der Verteidigung eines Hofes - typescript privately owned; not in the Bodleian
  28. Blumfeld, ein älterer Junggeselle - (KBod BI, 8) MS. Kafka 42, fols. 45-59
  29. Brief an den Vater - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  30. Ein Brudermord - no manuscript known to exist
  31. Die Brücke (Ich war steif und kalt ...) - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fols. 1-2
  32. Ein Damenbrevier - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  33. Der Dorfschullehrer - (KBod BI, 7) MS. Kafka 42, fols. 40-1 + (KMar BI, 2) the Deutsches Literaturachiv in Marbach (photocopy, MS. Kafka 48, fols. 77-91)
  34. Das Dorngebüsch (Ich war in ein ...) - (KBod AI, 17) MS. Kafka 27, fol. 14r
  35. Das dritte Oktavheft (Oktavheft G) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25
  36. 'Du, sagte ich'-Fragmente - (KBod AI, 1 + KBod AI, 2) MSS. Kafka 1, fols. 14r, 19r, 20r; 2, fols. 5-9r, 10-11r, 11v-12r, 13v-14, 20v, 21r, 21v
  37. Das Ehepaar - (KBod, B II, 4) MS. Kafka 46, fols. 5-9 (rectos)
  38. Einleitungsvortrag über Jargon - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  39. Eisenbahnreisende (Wir sind ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fols. 4v-5r
  40. Elberfeldheft - (KBod AI, 16) MS. Kafka 18B
  41. Elf Söhne - (KPriv C, 4) now MS. Kafka 53, fols. 1-5
  42. Entlarvung eines Bauernfängers - (KBod AII, 2) (draft title, 'Erkenntnis eines Bauernfängers', only, no other text) MS. Kafka 40, fol. 28v
  43. Eine entschlafene Zeitschrift- private owner; not in the Bodleian
  44. Entschlüsse- (KBod AI, 5) MS. Kafka 5, fol. 17
  45. Entwurf zu 'Richard und Samuel' = Skizze zur Einleitung für 'Richard und Samuel'
  46. Er = Zu der Reihe 'Er'
  47. Erinnerungen an die Kaldabahn (Eine Zeit meines Lebens ...) - (KBod AI, 7) MS. Kafka 7, fols. 9-6v rev. + (nicht die geringste Mühe ...) - (KBod BI, 4) MS. Kafka 42, fols. 34-9
  48. Ernst Liman-Fragment (Ernst Liman kam ...) - (KBod AI, 7) MS. Kafka 7, fols. 2-6r
  49. Die erste lange Eisenbahnfahrt (Prag -Zürich) = Erstes Kapitel des Buches 'Richard und Samuel' von Max Brod und Franz Kafka
  50. Das erste Oktavheft (Oktavheft B) - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20
  51. Erstes Kapitel des Buches 'Richard und Samuel' von Max Brod und Franz Kafka - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  52. Erstes Leid- (KBod BI, 9) MS. Kafka 42, fol. 60
  53. Erzählung des Großvaters- (KBod AIII, 1) MS. Kafka 19, fols. 9v-11r
  54. Es ist ein Mandat - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 26r
  55. Der Fahrgast - no manuscript known to exist
  56. Eine Festrede (Diese Wahl ist sehr begrüßenswert ...) - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  57. Forschungen eines Hundes (Wie sich mein Leben ...) - (KBod AI, 12; KBod AI, 17; KBod AI, 24) MSS. Kafka 12/2, fols. 13-19r (2nd part); 27, fols. 18-27 (1st part); 28, fols. 2-7r (later version)
  58. Fragment des 'Unterstaatsanwalts' = Der Unterstaatsanwalt
  59. Fragment zum 'Bau der chinesischen Mauer' (In diese Welt drang nun ...) - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21, fols. 25v-27r
  60. Fragmente zum 'Bericht für eine Akademie' (Wir alle kennen den Rotpeter ...) - (KBod AIII, 4) MS. Kafka 22, fols. 19v-21
  61. Fragment zum 'Jäger Gracchus' ('Wie ist es, Jäger Gracchus ...') - (KBod AIII, 4) MS. Kafka 22, 11v-19
  62. Fragmente zur 'Strafkolonie' - (KBod AI, 11) MS. Kafka 11, fols. 34-6r
  63. Das fünfte Oktavheft (Oktavheft E)- (KBod AIII, 5) MS. Kafka 23
  64. Fürsprecher (Es war sehr unsicher ...) - (KBod AI, 17) MS. Kafka 27, fols. 3v-4v
  65. Das Gassenfenster - no manuscript known to exist
  66. Der Geier (Es war ein Geier ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 28v
  67. Gemeinschaft (Wir sind fünf Freunde ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 24
  68. Eine Gemeinschaft von Schurken (Es war einmal ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fols. 14-15
  69. Gespräch mit dem Beter - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  70. Gespräch mit dem Betrunkenen - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  71. Gibs auf! = Ein Kommentar
  72. Großer Lärm (Ich will schreiben ...) - (KBod AI, 3) MS. Kafka 3, fols. 19v-20
  73. Der Gruftwächter - (KBod AIII, 1 + KBod C, 3) MSS. Kafka 19, fols. 16-37v; 47, fols. 18-23
  74. [Hebrew exercises] - (KBod AII, 4; AIII, 6, and 9-12) MSS. Kafka 24; 26, fols. 28v-29; 29-33; 46, fols. 5-8; 47, fols. 4-15
  75. Heimkehr (Ich bin zurückgekehrt ...) - (KBod AII, 3) MS. Kafka 41, fol. 11v
  76. Der Heizer (Als der ...) - (KBod AI, 6) MS. Kafka 6, fols. 29v-44 + (dem Schubal etwas ...) - (KBod AI, 2) MS. Kafka 2, fols. 38-49a
  77. Hochzeitsvorbereitungen auf dem Lande - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  78. Hörbare Nachbarschaft = Der Bau
  79. Ein Hungerkünstler (In den letzten Jahrzehnten ...) - (KBod AI, 17) MS. Kafka 27, fols. 5v-10
  80. Hyperion = Eine entschlafene Zeitschrift
  81. Ich habe elf Söhne = Elf Söhne
  82. In der Nacht = Die Vorüberlaufenden
  83. In der Strafkolonie - no manuscript known to exist; fragments in MS. Kafka 11, fols. 34-6r
  84. In unserer Synagoge - (KBod AI, 17) MS. Kafka 27, fols. 12-14r
  85. Ein Irrtum - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fol. 30r
  86. Der Jäger Gracchus (Zwei Knaben saßen ...) + ('Und nun gedenken Sie ...') - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fols. 2v-11
  87. Josefine, die Sängerin oder Das Volk der Mäuse (Unsere Sängerin heißt Josefine ...) - (KBod BII, 7) MS. Kafka 46, fols. 30-9r
  88. Eine kaiserliche Botschaft (Der Kaiser, so heißt es ...) - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21, fols. 19-20r
  89. Der- no manuscript known to exist
  90. Kinder auf der Landstraße - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  91. Kleider- private owner; not in the Bodleian
  92. Kleine Fabel ('Ach', sagte die Maus ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fols. 33r
  93. Eine kleine Frau (Es ist eine ...) - (KBod BII, 5) MS. Kafka 46, fols. 26-9r; fair copy and typescripts (KPriv BIII, 14) now MS. Kafka 54
  94. Der kleine Ruinenbewohner (Wenn ich es bedenke ...) - (KBod AI, 1 + KBod AI, 2) MSS. Kafka 1, fols. 5v-13r; 2, fol. 5r
  95. Ein Kommentar - (KBod AII, 2) MS. Kafka 40, fol. 11v
  96. Konsolidierung - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fols. 27
  97. Der Kreisel (Ein Philosoph trieb sich immer ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 40r
  98. Eine Kreuzung - (KBod AIII, 4) MS. Kafka 22, fols. 4-7
  99. Der Kübelreiter - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fols. 11v-15
  100. Die Kunstreiterin = Auf der Galerie
  101. Ein Landarzt - no manuscript known to exist
  102. Ein Leben - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fol. 9r
  103. 'Monderry'-Fragment (Der Tatbestand ...) - (KBod AI, 10) MS. Kafka 10, fols. 20v-19v rev.
  104. Der Mord = Ein Brudermord
  105. Die Mühseligkeit- (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 39r
  106. Der Nachbar (Mein Geschäft ruht ...) - (KBod AIII, 4) MS. Kafka 22, fols. 1-3
  107. Der Nachhauseweg - no manuscript known to exist
  108. Nachts (Versunken in die Nacht ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 7r
  109. Das nächste Dorf - no manuscript known to exist
  110. Der neue Advokat (Wir haben einen neuen Advokaten ...) - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fols. 26v (one sentence, in middle of the page), 27v-28
  111. Neue Lampen (Gestern war ich zum erstenmal ...) - (KBod AIII, 5) MS. Kafka 23, fols. 7v-10r
  112. Odradek = Die Sorge des Hausvaters
  113. Oft überlege ich es ... = Der kleine Ruinenbewohner
  114. Oktavhefte- (KBod AIII, 1-8) MSS. Kafka 19-26
  115. Paralipomena (Stummheit gehört ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fol. 20 + (Der tiefe Brunnen ...) (KPriv AII, 1) - private owner, not in the Bodleian
  116. Der Philosoph und die Kreisel = Der Kreisel
  117. Der plötzliche Spaziergang (Wenn man sich am abend ...) - (KBod AI, 5) MS. Kafka 5, fols. 2-3r
  118. Poseidon (Poseidon saß ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 20
  119. Der Proceß (Der Prozeß) - the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach
  120. Prometheus (Die Sage versucht ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fol. 33
  121. Die Prüfung (Ich bin ein Diener ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 28
  122. Der Quälgeist - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21, fols. 37v-8r
  123. Rede über die jiddische Sprache = Einleitungsvortrag über Jargon
  124. Ein regnerischer Tag - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fols. 2-3
  125. Reisetagebücher (KBod AII, 1 and BIII, 3) MSS. Kafka 13-14 + (KPriv AIII, 4) now MS. Kafka 52
  126. Richard und Samuel = Erstes Kapitel des Buches 'Richard und Samuel' von Max Brod und Franz Kafka
  127. Der Riesenmaulwurf = Der Dorfschullehrer
  128. Ein Roman der Jugend - no manuscript known to exist
  129. Schakale und Araber (Wir lagerten in der Oase ...) - (KBod AIII, 2) MS. Kafka 20, fols. 16v-23r
  130. Schema zur Charakteristik kleiner Litteraturen - (KBod AI, 4) MS. Kafka 4, fol. 34r
  131. Der Schlag ans Hoftor (Es war im Sommer ...) - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21, fols. 31v-33
  132. Das Schloss - (KBod AI, 18-23) MSS. Kafka 34-9
  133. Das Schweigen der Sirenen (Beweis dessen ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fols. 11v-13
  134. Das Schwert (Ich hatte mit zwei Freunden ...) - (KBod AI, 10) MS. Kafka 10, fols. 8-9
  135. Das sechste Oktavheft (Oktavheft C) - (KBod AIII, 3) MS. Kafka 21
  136. Das siebente Oktavheft (Oktavheft A) - (KBod AIII, 1) MS. Kafka 19
  137. Skizze einer Selbstbiographie (Jeder Mensch ist eigentümlich ...) - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  138. Skizze zur Einleitung für 'Richard und Samuel' - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  139. Die Sorge des Hausvaters - no manuscript known to exist
  140. Das Stadtwappen (Anfangs war beim babylonischen Turmbau ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 26v [part of text only ('Dazu kam … Wappen', printed p. 323; there is no manuscript for 'Anfangs … Kampfsucht', printed pp. 318-319)]
  141. Die städtische Welt - (KBod AI, 2) MS. Kafka 2, fols. 26-31
  142. Der Steuermann ('Bin ich nicht Steuermann?' ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 27r
  143. Tagebücher (KBod AI, 1-12) - MSS. Kafka 1-12
  144. Eine teilweise Erzählung (Vor dem Eingang des Hauses ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fol. 6
  145. Ein Traum - typescripts: private owner and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach
  146. Die Truppenaushebung (Die Truppenaushebungen, die oft ...) - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fols. 11-12r
  147. Über Kleists 'Anekdoten' (Das ist ein Anblick ...) - private owner; not in the Bodleian
  148. Das Unglück des Junggesellen (Es scheint so arg ...) - (KBod AI, 3) MS. Kafka 3, fols. 33v-34r
  149. Unglücklichsein (Als es schon unerträglich ...) - (KBod AI, 2) MS. Kafka 2, fols. 2-4
  150. Der Unschuldige ('Sonderbar!' sagte der Hund ...) - (KBod AI, 17) MS. Kafka 27, fols. 4v-5r
  151. Der Unterstaatsanwalt - (KBod BI, 6) MS. Kafka 42, fols. 42-4
  152. Unverbrüchlicher Traum - (KBod AIII, 1) MS. Kafka 19, fol. 1r
  153. Das Urteil (Es war an einem Sontagvormittag ...) - (KBod AI, 6) MS. Kafka 6, fols. 15-27r
  154. Verlockung im Dorf (Ich kam einmal im Sommer ...) - (KBod AI, 9) MS. Kafka 9, fols. 3-10
  155. Der Verschollene = Amerika
  156. Die Verwandlung - (formerly KPriv AI, 1, now Bodleian) MS. Kafka 18A
  157. Das vierte Oktavheft (Oktavheft H) - (KBod AIII, 8) MS. Kafka 26
  158. Vom babylonischen Turmbau = Das Stadtwappen
  159. Vom jüdischen Theater - (no KKA number); typescript, Bodleian, MS. Kafka 47, fols. 24-8
  160. Vom Scheintod (Wer einmal scheintot ...) - no manuscript known to exist
  161. Von den Gleichnissen (Viele beklagten sich ...) - (KBod AII, 2) MS. Kafka 40, fols. 27r rev. and 28r rev.
  162. Vor dem Gesetz - the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach
  163. Vor dem Einschlafen = Das Unglück des Junggesellen
  164. Die Vorüberlaufenden- no manuscript known to exist
  165. Die Wahrheit über Sancho Pansa (Sancho Pansa, der sich übrigens ...) - (KBod AIII, 7) MS. Kafka 25, fols. 9v-10r
  166. Wunsch, Indianer zu werden - no manuscript known to exist
  167. Zerrissener Traum - (KBod AIII, 1) MS. Kafka 19, fol. 1r & v
  168. Zerstreutes Hinausschaun - no manuscript known to exist
  169. Zu der Reihe 'Er' - (KBod AI, 12) MS. Kafka 12/1, fols. 7-12
  170. Zum Nachdenken für Herrenreiter - no manuscript known to exist
  171. Zur Frage der Gesetze - (KBod BII, 1-3) MS. Kafka 44, fols. 10-11r
  172. Das zweite Oktavheft (Oktavheft D) - (KBod AIII, 4) MS. Kafka 22
MSS. Kafka 1-12 - There is a chronological list of all the diary entries in Tagebücher, Kommentarband, pp. 271-288, with page and line references to the printed text, and an index to the first lines of all the literary entries, pp. 297-302. To identify the manuscript containing a particular entry, check the printed page number in Tagebücher, see which notebook it belongs to ('Erstes Heft' etc.) in the contents list of the text volume, p. [1065], and find the corresponding entry ('Erstes Heft' = 'Tagebuch, I', etc.). There are also indexes in the Kommentarband, pp. 302-340, of (1) Kafka's works, (2) persons, books, and periodicals, and (3) places, mentioned in these notebooks.

Custodial History

The history and ownership of the Kafka papers are complex. Although Franz Kafka had asked his life-long friend Max Brod to burn all his manuscripts, Brod took the decision not to do so. For many years after Kafka's death, Brod looked after the manuscripts. In 1939 he removed them from Prague to Tel Aviv, and in 1956 sent most of them to Switzerland. The ownership was shared among Kafka's four nieces: Gertrude Kaufmann (the daughter of Kafka's sister Elli) - one third; Marianna Steiner (the daughter of Kafka's sister Valli) - one third, and two other nieces (the daughters of Kafka's sister Ottla) - one sixth each.

Other Kafka papers, including the manuscript of The Trial, are held in the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach. In 2015 Israel's Supreme Court awarded Kafka manuscripts that form part of Max Brod's archive to the National Library of Israel.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 1961, Marianna Steiner (acting also on behalf of the other owners) put on deposit in the Bodleian most of the papers listed here. This was done to facilitate the publication of the first critical edition of Kafka's writings under the direction of Sir Malcolm Pasley (see Das Schloss, Kritische Ausgabe, Apparatband, 1982, p. 15). The manuscript of Die Verwandlung (MS. Kafka 18A) was added by Marianna Steiner in August 1969. A box containing letters was deposited by her in 1970. With great generosity, Gertrude Kaufmann bequeathed her share to the Bodleian (1972), and Marianna Steiner hers (2001). A further group of papers was donated to the Bodleian by the Schocken family, through Professor Miriam Schocken (and Bodley's American Friends) in 1989 – now MSS. Kafka 52-5.

At present, the majority of the collection is owned jointly by the Library and the children of Ottla's daughters. The letters to Ottla (MSS. Kafka 49-50) were purchased in 2011 jointly by the Bodleian Library and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach as part of a collaborative partnership. The Bodleian owns the part of the collection that forms the Schocken gift.

At Marianna Steiner's request, Sir Malcolm Pasley was responsible (on the owners' behalf) for all matters relating to the administration of the papers from 1961. In July 1997 this responsibility was transferred to the Keeper of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library.

Existence and Location of Copies

Nearly all the manuscripts have been published by S. Fischer Verlag in the ongoing Kafka Kritische Ausgabe, ed. Jürgen Born et al. Stroemfeld Verlag are in the course of publishing facsimiles of the manuscripts, accompanied by diplomatic transcripts and CD-ROMS, ed. Roland Reuß and Peter Staengle.
Title
Catalogue of the papers of Franz Kafka, 1882-1940
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Tim Rogers and Margaret Czepiel
Date
2011, revised 2019
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Contact:
Weston Library
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Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom