Kafka pretty much summed up the 20th century just as it was getting under way. (There’s probably somebody doing the same for the 21st right now, if we only knew where to find her.) The Kafka Project “was initiated in 1998 with the purpose of publishing online all Kafka texts in German, in the form of the manuscripts”:

This multilingual page is intended also to give scholars and Kafka fans a virtual place to share opinions, essays and translations. Every detail of Kafka’s world will find its place in this site, which has the aim to become the central crossway of Kafka-interested users.

From the About page:

A great problem with the Kafka texts on the net is that they all originate from the Brod edition; this procedure should now be regarded as obsolete as a critical edition (by Jürgen Born et al., Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt a. M., since 1982) is available. This is why I decided to collect on this site all Kafka texts in the original form according to the manuscripts, and their translations from the critical edition – with all variants.
Since 1996, a new Kafka edition (“Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe”, or HKA, Stroemfeld Verlag) was undertaken by Roland Reuß and Peter Staengle, which takes into account all manuscripts and is arranged according to radically scientific criteria. This new edition is in my opinion so important, that I devoted an entire page to it. You’ll find there practical information and comments.
Only «Der Process» was published until 1999. Now a new edition of «Beschreibung eines Kampfes» is also available, and you can read here a presentation, the introduction and some other information. A commentary in German («Unter entzündeten Wolken») about this new edition of «Beschreibung eines Kampfes» is also available on my site, by a courtesy of Roland Reuß (first published in Frankfurter Allgemeine / Wochenend-Beilage 5. Febr. 2000).
Scanning of the manuscripts, though in limited form, could find a place here too.
I’ve collected here texts you cannot find on other sites…

(Via plep.)


  1. I’m surprised to see that. I would have thought these ‘newer’ versions of the texts would be copyright. – Googling, I see the rights were released on January 1st 1995, 70 years after Kafka’s death.
    ISTR hearing that Malcolm Pasley (*not* the nude photographer) was giving a lecture on Kafka in the 60s and someone came up afterwards and said, ‘My grandmother’s got a lot of Kafka manuscripts in the attic’…

    (In 1961 Pasley collected the manuscripts from Switzerland on the instructions of the heirs). Brod had taken them to Palestine, but in 1956, with the Suez crisis looming, they were taken to Switzerland. One publisher has been publishing a readable text, the other a facsimile, and the footnotes link to a heated dispute between the two sides, part in English.

Speak Your Mind