Amethyst and The Opals  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

From December 1905 - November 1906 Franz Blei was the editor of the private magazine Amethyst (pub. Hans von Weber) and then The Opals, which were available by subscription only and were mildly pornographic. The journals featured the artwork of Aubrey Beardsley and Felicien Rops, texts by Jules Laforgue and also erotic prose from translated texts by Paul Verlaine and classic erotic plays and poems from around the world. Only 800 numbered copies were produced of each issue, and the young Kafka had a subscription. The Opals was the first to publish Carl Einstein's Bebuquin, the first German expressionist novel. These literary small press journals, known about by Kafka scholars for many decades, became the basis for a silly season press story in 2008, in The Times of London, when a novelist promoting a new book claimed to have discovered Kafka's 'secret pornography stash' among his archived papers.

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