3 July 2007
KAFKA, Franz (1883-1924). Autograph letter signed to Rudolf Fuchs, n.p. [Zürau], n.d. [December 1917], 2 pages, folio, with autograph envelope. Provenance: Christie's 9 December 1987, lot 336.
Kafka has just been declaiming Fuchs's poems to his sleeping cat in the silent house, 'Man müsste an Ihren Gedichten den Weg dorthin lernen können und auch die innere Fröhlichkeit, Zuversichtlichkeit, Zartheit, Sicherheit des Ganges', describing his apartment, 'ich bin übrigens ein wenig davon abgekommen dass Störung stört und ich bin in einen vom Küchenlärm nur durch eine Glastür abgetrennten Zimmer, das überdies nicht nur mir gehört .... ganz zufrieden', describing also the mice rushing around the furniture and only controlled by his cat, and expressing his conviction that the silent and yet horribly noisy village is still much better than the collective sound of the city; the letter ends with a discussion of the journal Der Anbruch which has asked him for a contribution, wondering if Fuchs is behind this.
Written while Kafka had been given 8 months' leave from his work in Prague because of his tuberculosis, and was living in the village of Zürau in Bohemia. The mice in his bedroom seem to have bothered him considerably, as in all his correspondence of December 1917 he refers to them or asks about mousetraps.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
VAT rate of 17.5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.
Introducing the second auction in a series of three offering the collection of Paul Destribats, the Paris-based bibliophile
Mark Wiltshire, Associate Specialist in Science & Books, walks us through the history of Christianity’s most influential printed text
Our Books and Manuscripts specialists advise on a richly rewarding and ever-evolving collectors’ market
We go inside the foundation created 40 years ago by the printing entrepreneur and collector Daniel Terra
Explore works by the leading British artists and sculptors of the 20th century, to be offered over three auctions in London from 21–23 January