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date: 01 April 2020

Brod, Maxlocked

  • Yehuda Walter Cohen
  •  and John Tyrrell

Extract

(b Prague, May 27, 1884; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 20, 1968). German-Israeli writer, translator, composer and librettist of Czech birth. He began piano studies at the age of six, and was then a pupil of Adolf Schreiber; later, after Schreiber’s suicide, Brod had some of his songs published and wrote his biography. He studied law and worked in Prague for a time as a state employee. He was a fine pianist and a composer (mostly of songs); his first published volume of verse (1907) earned the approval of Rilke, his first novel (1909) brought him notoriety. Thoughts on music are woven into his novels and poetry: his final book (1962) was a novelistic defence of Karel Sabina, librettist of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, who was discovered to be a police informer. Brod was a friend of other German-Jewish writers in Prague such as Kafka and Werfel, and did much to promote their careers, becoming Kafka’s biographer and literary executor. His own talents and wide sympathies enabled him to become a prominent music and theatre critic (for the ...

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