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Kafka Finally Has Some Recognition at Home

December 26, 1987|Associated Press

PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia — A cultural weekly has printed an article on author Franz Kafka, whose works are highly acclaimed in the West but have been disparaged and barely acknowledged in his native Prague.

The periodical Tvorba opened its 1 1/2-page article on Kafka's last completed novel, "The Castle," with a plea to reassess long-ignored Czechoslovak and foreign literature.

Literary expert Kveta Hyrslova said the literary periodical Nove Knihy (New Books) should have a regular column "for those works of Czech or world literature which, for this or that reason, have disappeared beyond the horizon, leaving an empty space or, even worse, an inadequate and sometimes considerably distorted image."

Hyrslova's article, titled "Newly Rediscovered Books," was accompanied by a poem about Kafka's death in a sanitarium outside Vienna in 1924, and a lithograph of the author, born in Prague in 1883.

Czechoslovakia's Communist authorities allowed both the 100th anniversary of Kafka's birth and the 60th anniversary of his death to pass with a minimum of fanfare.

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