Lot #424
Franz Kafka

"I'm not exactly blissful," writes Kafka in the year of The Metamorphosis
This lot has closed

Estimate: $20000+


"I'm not exactly blissful," writes Kafka in the year of The Metamorphosis

ALS in German, signed “Franz,” written in pencil on the reverse of a 5.5 x 3.5 postcard from the Cafe Kaiserhaus in Halberstadt, Germany, postmarked July 7, 1912. Letter to friend and biographer Max Brod, in full (translated): "This first morning greeting to your office. Don't take it too hard. I'm not exactly blissful, in spite of this incredibly old city. I am sitting on a balcony above a fish market and twining my legs to wring the fatigue out of them." In fine condition.

Traveling companions Kafka and Brod parted ways in early July after a summer sojourn in Weimar, with Kafka continuing on to the historic city of Halberstadt and Brod returning to Prague. This offered postcard represents one of the two letters Kafka sent to Brod on July 7th; the second was written after visiting the home of poet Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim in Halberstadt, and not long before Kafka embarked to the Jungborn nudist sanatorium, where he remained for three weeks in an effort to cure a writing spell. His experience with naturopathy and his introduction to future fiancé Felice Bauer in mid-August stirred in Kafka a compulsion to expound deeper on the subject on the natural world, and in early November Kafka began work on an early draft of The Metamorphosis, a version of which he would finish before year's end. An exceptionally desirable letter from Kafka to Brod, who, as the former’s executor, was instructed to destroy all of his unfinished works upon his passing. Brod thankfully ignored these requests, which led to Kafka’s work influencing a vast range of artistic minds during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #604 - Ended March 10, 2021

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