Franz Kafka’s Lost Drawings

In 1921 and 1922, Franz Kafka asked his friend, the writer and Zionist activist Max Brod, to burn all of his manuscripts, letters, and drawings in the event of his death. When Kafka died in 1924, at the age of forty-one, Brod refused to heed the request, and began trying to see that many of the writings he found were published—thus securing Kafka’s legacy among the literary of geniuses of the 20th century. Brod brought the papers with him when he fled Czechoslovakia in 1939, just before the Nazi invasion, for the Land of Israel. After a protracted legal battle, the National Library of Israel recently acquired some of these papers, which it has now digitized and made publicly available.

Although his stories rarely touch on Jewish subjects, Kafka throughout his life sought to learn more about the religion of his birth, and resented his parents for denying him a more robust Jewish education. The newly digitized materials, never before seen except by a few eyes, include several drawings. The one below is s titled “A Beggar and a Refined Patron.” (Courtesy of the National Library of Israel, Max Brod Archive.)

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More about: Art, Franz Kafka, Jewish history, Literature

Is the Attempt on Salman Rushdie’s Life Part of a Broader Iranian Strategy?

Aug. 18 2022

While there is not yet any definitive evidence that Hadi Matar, the man who repeatedly stabbed the novelist Salman Rushdie at a public talk last week, was acting on direct orders from Iranian authorities, he has made clear that he was inspired by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s call for Rushdie’s murder, and his social-media accounts express admiration for the Islamic Republic. The attack also follows on the heels of other Iranian attempts on the lives of Americans, including the dissident activist Masih Alinejad, the former national security advisor John Bolton, and the former secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was held hostage by the mullahs for over two years, sees a deliberate effort at play:

It is no coincidence this flurry of Iranian activity comes at a crucial moment for the hitherto-moribund [nuclear] negotiations. Iranian hardliners have long opposed reviving the 2015 deal, and the Iranians have made a series of unrealistic and seemingly ever-shifting demands which has led many to conclude that they are not negotiating in good faith. Among these is requiring the U.S. to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in its entirety from the State Department’s list of terror organizations.

The Biden administration and its European partners’ willingness to make concessions are viewed in Tehran as signals of weakness. The lack of a firm response in the shocking attack on Salman Rushdie will similarly indicate to Tehran that there is little to be lost and much to be gained in pursuing dissidents like Alinejad or so-called blasphemers like Sir Salman on U.S. soil.

If we don’t stand up for our values when under attack we can hardly blame our adversaries for assuming that we have none. Likewise, if we don’t erect and maintain firm red lines in negotiations our adversaries will perhaps also assume that we have none.

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Read more at iNews

More about: Iran, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy