Max Brod: History's Worst Porn Buddy

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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IN THE PENILE COLONY Hahahaha, Get It? Czech-born German writer Franz Kafka's meditations on the individual's struggle to cope with the bureaucracy around him has made him the subject of more college theses and doctorate dissertations than anyone other than William Shakespeare. Also, the guy was a total porn hound! Researches have stumbled across reams of "erotic material" in Kafka's journals in the British Library in London and the Bodleian in Oxford, which they claim have long been ignored by scholars who are trying to preserve the writer's "quasi-saintly" image. It's not your garden variety Playboy, either: "These are not naughty postcards from the beach," says Dr. James Hawes, the Kafka expert who found the collection. "They are undoubtedly porn, pure and simple. Some of it is quite dark, with animals committing fellatio and girl-on-girl action... It's quite unpleasant."

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According to Hawes, "Academics have pretended it did not exist. The Kafka industry doesn't want to know such things about its idol." It's unclear how some enterprising PhD candidate hasn't already mined the material for all it's worth, though Hawes is picking up the slack: he plans to publish some of it next month.



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