Everything I leave behind me ... is to be burned unread  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Everything I leave behind me ... is to be burned unread is a last wish by Franz Kafka, recorded in a note.

Prior to his death, Kafka wrote to his friend and literary executor Max Brod: "Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me ... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread."

"Liebster Max, meine letzte Bitte: Alles, was sich in meinem Nachlass (also im Buchkasten, Wäscheschrank, Schreibtisch, zu Hause und im Büro, oder wohin sonstirgendetwas vertragen worden sein sollte und dir auffällt) an Tagebüchern, Manuskripten, Briefen, fremden und eignen, Gezeichnetem und so weiter findet, restlos und ungelesen zu verbrennen, ebenso alles Geschriebene oder Gezeichnete, das du oder andre, die du in meinem Namen darum bitten sollst, haben. Briefe, die man dir nicht übergeben will, soll man wenigstens selbst zu verbrennen sich verpflichten."
Dein Franz Kafka.

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