Max Brod


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Brod, Max

 

Born May 27, 1884, in Prague; died Dec. 22, 1968, in Tel Aviv. Austrian writer and critic. Born into a Jewish family.

Brod was a lawyer by education. In 1939 he emigrated to Palestine. Brod is the author of the expressionist novels The Redemption of Tycho Brahe (1916) and The Great Risk (1919) and of the dramas Queen Esther (1917) and Lord Byron Goes out of Style (1929). Some of his novels, such as The Jewish Women (1911) and Reubeni, Prince of the Jews (1925), are pervaded by the idea of religious missionary work. The autobiographical novel Rebellious Hearts (1957), the autobiography A Militant Life (1960), and the collections The Starry Sky of Prague: Music and Theater Reminiscences of the Theater of the 20’s (1966) and On the Beauty of Outrageous Pictures: A Guide for Romantics of Our Time (1913, 1967) depict the literary, theatrical, and musical life of Austria, Germany, and Czechoslovakia in the first third of the 20th century. Brod was a friend of F. Kafka and the trustee of his manuscripts; he published his works (1935) and letters (1958) and wrote a monograph about him (1966).

WORKS

Ausgewählte Romane und Novellen, vols. 1-6. Leipzig [1919].
In Russian translation:
“Gugo.” Russkaia mysl’, 1913, nos. 6-9.

REFERENCES

Dichter, Denker, Helfer: Max Brod zum 50. Geburtstag. Published by F. Wetsch. [no place, 1934.]
Schümann, K. M. Brod. … In Im Bannkreis von Gesicht und Wirken. Munich, 1959.

N. B. VESELOVSKAIA

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He and his work were relatively unknown during his short life (he died in 1924 at age 40 of laryngeal tuberculosis) and most of his great work was published posthumously, thanks to the efforts of his friend and biographer, Max Brod.
Dearest Max was Max Brod, who famously decided not to obey the last wish of his best friend, who died in 1924 of tuberculosis one month short of his 41st birthday.
Max Brod believed that Mahler was "unconsciously impelled to compose by the same wellsprings within himself that produced the beautiful Chasidic songs," and he claimed to have noticed a striking similarity between Chasidic songs that have march rhythms and those of Mahler's own marches in his symphonies.
Max Brod, Kafka's literary executor, reported that Kafka intended to bring the novel, "as if by magic," to a happy conclusion in which Rossmann finds "a profession, some backing, his freedom, even his old home and his parents.
Classics have been born out of defiance, most famously when a prolific novelist named Max Brod ignored the request of his dying friend Franz Kafka to burn his papers.
Kafka's "Germanness," and the reasons for it, have come to the fore recently in an ongoing controversy over the destiny of a package of Kafka papers that passed to his friend Max Brod, thence to Max Brod's secretary (and supposed lover) Esther Hoffe, who died in 2007 aged 101.
His friend Max Brod took them from Poland to Palestine in 1939, and some of them ended up being in the possession of his secretary/lover Esther Hoff, who died in 2007.
The case boils down to the interpretation of the will of Max Brod, Kafka's longtime friend and publisher.
The elderly sisters were passed on the manuscripts by their mum Esther Hoffe, who was the secretary of Kafka's friend and executor, Max Brod.
In his will, Kafka enjoined his executor, Max Brod, to destroy the majority of his oeuvre, though there's good reason to believe he secretly wished the command to be disobeyed.
Franz Kafka's Trial, written in 1914-15, was published only many years after his death; just one section of it, the short parable "Before the Law," appeared in the Journal Selbstwehr, "Self-Defense," published by Kafka's Zionist friends of Prague, Max Brod and Felix Weltsch.
After Max Brod, whose long essay written while the composer was still alive was the first of a series of Janacek monographs, the most valuable is definitely Helfert's unfinished work (Leos Janacek.