Zeugnisse zur Debatte um die Kafka-Manuskripte

(1) (...) "I refer to your letter of 16 November, requesting permission to reproduce the collection of Kafka manuscripts held in the Bodleian Library. I have to inform you, on behalf of the owners of the Mss concerned, that such permission cannot be granted." (...)

(2) (...) "Concerning the scanning of the Kafka manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, I would like to meet you personnally to discuss our project. (...) Also I herewith ask you to, please, send us the adresses of the owners of the Kafka manuscripts at Oxford as we would like to mail them our opening volume. You will understand that we feel the need to inform them about our project and plans.

You may have heard that some of the publicity after our press conference on January 2 at Frankfurt Literaturhaus focused almost exclusively on the issue of two competing publishing houses. Aside from the fact that ours is - compared to S. Fischer - a very small operation, I can assure you that we are not engaged in this kind of competition.

I feel confident you will realize our project is in the public interest when you have seen the opening volume. As is the case with our historical-critical Hölderlin and Kleist editions (made possible by public and private subsidies), we try to make the full literary heritage of these authors available. The quality of the manuscript reproductions speaks for itself." (...)

(3) (...) "I thought that I had made it clear, in my letter to you of 2 December last, that access to the Kafka Mss. held in the Bodleian Library cannot be granted to you for the purposes which you mention.

I trust that our correspondence may now be considered closed."

(4) (...) "Of course, I am aware of the correspondence you have had with Mr. Wolff. Nevertheless, I beg you to reconsider your former stance and allow us to reproduce the Kafka Mss in the Bodleian Library. I realize, your own edition of Kafka ran under different premises, but that should not really be a reason to become enemies. Pleading with you as one editor to the other, I am still confident that you will act according to scholarly fairness.

Our edition is not directed against any other Kafka edition. We attempt to bring Kafka's text in a way we think best. If you would find it helpful, we could meet, whenever you are willing and able, to discuss the situation."

(5) "This note hopes to be the start of an international appeal to Sir Malcolm Pasley, Curator of the Kafka manuscripts held in the Bodleian Library. It is outrageous, and contrary to universal principles of scholarship, that Sir Malcolm refuses to allow Stroemfeld Verlag to reproduce Kafka's manuscripts for a facsimile edition. I urge him to reconsider."

(6) "I join with full conviction in Harold Bloom's appeal to Sir Malcolm urging him to reverse the decision not to allow Stroemfeld Verlag to publish facsimiles of the Kafka manuscripts on deposit in the Bodleian Library.

Anyone who has seen the Stroemfeld facsimile edition of The Trial will immediately understand that this arbitrary and incomprehensible refusal is depriving scholars of Kafka's work and, indeed, the general public of a precious insight into the works of this great genius of our century."

(7) "Nach dem Gesetz. Unruhe um die Kafka-Manuskripte.

Der amerikanische Literaturwissenschaftler Harold Bloom und der Schriftsteller Louis Begley haben in öffentlichen Erklärungen den Frankfurter Stroemfeld Verlag unterstützt, der seit Jahren vergeblich mit Sir Malcolm Pasley, dem Kurator der Kafka-Bestände in der Oxforder Bodleian Library, um die Genehmigung zur Faksimilierung der Manuskripte verhandelt. Zum Teil des Nachlasses von Franz Kafka, der als Depositium seiner Erben in Oxford liegt, gehören die Manuskripte der Romane "Der Verschollene" und "Das Schloß" sowie die Notizhefte. Als Modell der im Stroemfeld Verlag geplanten Kafka-Edition wurden zur vergangenen Buchmesse die sechzehn Kapitel des "Process" in faksimilierter und transkribierter Form unter Einschluß und Markierung aller Streichungen, Verbesserungen und Anmerkungen vorgelegt (F.A.Z. vom 14. Oktober 1997). Das Manuskript des "Process" liegt im Deutschen Literaturarchiv in Marbach.

Rechtlich ist die Lage eindeutig: Als Kurator kann Pasley, sofern dies dem Willen der Erben entspricht, Einsicht und Faksimilierung der von ihm verwalteten Bestände verweigern. Das geschriebene Gesetz aber ist hier wie stets nicht die einzige Instanz. Harold Bloom bezeichnet in seiner Erklärung Pasley's Weigerung als "empörenden" Verstoß gegen "universelle Prinzipien von Wissenschaftlichkeit". Die Kritik an Pasley entzündet sich nicht zuletzt daran, daß er zugleich wissenschaftlicher Kurator der Kafka-Handschriften und Herausgeber der Kafka-Ausgabe des S. Fischer Verlages ist. Der Verlag Stroemfeld sieht darin einen "offensichtlichen Interessenkonflikt".

(8) "Refering to the correspondence with Dr Roland Reuss in 1984, I would like to remind you that Dr Reuss was then informed that the Kafka mss. at the Bodleian Library are not owned by the Bodleian Library but are only kept as a deposit, and Dr Reuss was then referred in all matters concerning the Kafka mss. to the curator, Sir Malcolm Pasley.

As you may have heard, after several years of futile attempts to enter into a discussion with Sir Pasley, we have recently made our correspondence with Sir Malcolm Pasley public, together with an appeal by Professor Harold Bloom (Yale/New York University) and Louis Begley to Sir Malcolm Pasley asking him to reverse his decision not to agree to have made scan facsimiles of the Kafka mss for our publishing house.

Today, a journalist from the Hamburg weekly DIE ZEIT called us and insinuated that the public debate is appealing to Sir Pasley to reverse his former decision, even though the mss. concerned are now under different curatorship and partly owned by the Bodleian Library. We were never informed about who owns these mss. - I do not hesitate, though, to write you right away. If the information of ZEIT is correct, I herewith ask for permission to scan the Oxford manuscripts of Franz Kafka for our facsimile edition. If in fact a new curator has been appointed, please inform him/her of our request. For your information, we mail you under seperate cover the opening volume of our Kafka edition and some reviews." (...)

(9) (...) "Ownership of the manuscripts is divided between the Bodleian and members of the family, for whom the library now acts. Since the completion of the critical edition, the manuscripts are being sorted into final arrangement, fully described and conserved. It is the Library's and the family's intention, once this essential work has been completed, to proceed to the publication of a facsimile edition of the collection, in order to make it fully available to the scholarly world. Publication will require the consent of all the owners, and will be based on a formal agreement between them and the publisher. Once the cataloguing work is complete, we will be following up proposals for publication. For your information, I should add that any photography or scanning of the manuscripts will, in accordance with Library policy, be done by the Library's own photographic staff in the Library's own studio."

(10) (...) "I would like to clarify that we have never asked for privileges. We asked several times for permission to reproduce the Kafka manuscripts in the Bodleian for the purpose of our Franz Kafka-Edition which is to be a "Complete Works" edition. We had asked Sir Pasley for a meeting, and I am now asking you for one to discuss the whole project. And we appeal to you to help make a constructive meeting take place soon. We can come to Oxford or London, whenever you or the family of the owners are willing to meet.

If there is another party who would like to produce a Kafka facsimile edition, that will not be a problem for us. Perhaps we could even share costs. In any case we have no interest in exclusivity or in blocking other projects. As you may have heard, we had originally proposed to S. Fischer Verlag to undertake the scanning of "Process" (Trial) together. Our main interest has always been, much as you stated your own purpose, to make the manuscripts "fully available to the scholarly world". The editorial projects of Stroemfeld Verlag are supported by the non-profit Stroemfeld Fördergesellschaft, making it in large part "an independent publisher in the public interest". (...)

(11) "Durch das in Kopie beigefügte Fax der Bodleian Library vom 14. Mai 1998 und einen Artikel im OBSERVER (12) vom 17. Mai 1998 sind wir erstmals darüber informiert worden, daß Sir Malcolm Pasley nicht mehr Kurator der Kafka-Handschriften in der Bodleian Library in Oxford ist.

Mit dem in Kopie beigefügtem Brief haben wir gleichzeitig unseren Antrag auf Faksimilierung der Kafka-Handschriften in Oxford erneuert.

Bei der Vorbereitung unserer Edition hatte uns die Bodleian Library in der Frage des Zugangs und der Reproduktionserlaubnis an Sir Pasley verwiesen. Die Briefe, die in dieser Angelegenheit zwischen Sir Pasley und uns gewechselt worden sind, haben wir in einer Dokumentation, die ich beilege, mit einem Appell von Harold Bloom und Louis Begley veröffentlicht.

Die Begründungen, die unsere Editoren für das Kafka-Projekt publiziert haben, setzen sich natürlich auch mit früheren Ausgaben, darunter auch mit der von Sir Pasley verantworteten Ausgabe im S. Fischer Verlag kritisch auseinander. Diese Kritik entspricht mit ihrer ausführlichen, sachlichen Argumentation den Formen wissenschaftlicher Auseinandersetzung und ist nicht contra personam gerichtet. Welchen Grund sollten wir haben, "terrible things", wie der OBSERVER es zitiert, über Sir Pasley zu äußern?

Ich darf Sie höflich bitten, uns Gelegenheit zu einem Gespräch zu geben, um falsche und zum Teil infame Behauptungen, die über uns in die Welt gesetzt wurden, auszuräumen und Ihnen unser Kafka-Projekt persönlich zu erläutern. Teilen Sie mir bitte einen Termin mit, an dem ich Sie in Prag, London oder an einem anderen Ort treffen darf.

Wie Sie wissen, ist unser Verlag aus dem Verlag Roter Stern hervorgegangen, den ich 1970 im Zuge der westdeutschen Studentenbewegung gegründet hatte. Gegenüber Verdächtigungen, wie sie z.B. dieser Tage von Prof. Fiedler (Frankfurt) (13) erhoben wurden, möchte ich darauf hinweisen, daß ich 1967 als Vertreter der anti-autoritären, nicht-kommunistischen Fraktion, auf Vorschlag u.a. von Rudi Dutschke, zum Bundesvorsitzenden des Sozialistischen Deutschen Studentenbundes (SDS) gewählt wurde. Wir waren nie Anhänger irgendeines "Totalitarismus", ich habe 1968 die westdeutschen Demonstrationen gegen die sowjetische Invasion in Prag organisiert, über 18 Jahre hatte ich nicht nur Einreiseverbot in die USA (wegen unserer Proteste gegen den Vietnam-Krieg), sondern auch in der DDR.

Bei dieser Gelegenheit wiederhole ich auch Ihnen gegenüber die Bitte, uns die Reproduktion der Kafka-Handschriften in der Bodleian Library zu gestatten. Der Einleitungsband unserer Edition, der Probe-Band "Drei Briefe an Milena Jesenská" und vor allem die Faksimile-Edition von "Der Process" werden Sie, wie ich zuversichtlich hoffe, davon überzeugen, daß unser Projekt Kafkas handschriftlicher Hinterlassenschaft dient und ihr in wissenschaftlicher und drucktechnischer Hinsicht bestmöglich gerecht zu werden versucht."

(12) Artikel im OBSERVER am 17.05.98: "Scholars squabble in Kafkaesque drama". (...) "Pasley's enemies accuse him of a conflict of interest. He is chief editor of an acclaimed edition of Kafka. But some critics called it "flawed" because it was unfaithfull to punctuation and spellings in the original. Wolff and Reuss believe Pasley refused to discuss their proposals or put their case to Kafka's family because they had criticised his edition. The Stroemfeld volumes, they say, would be superior because they would have manuscript and transcription on opposite pages, allowing scholars to judge the editing against the original. (...) But Pasley has formidable allies, including Marianne Steiner, Kafka's niece who lives in London and is co-owner of the manuscripts with Kafka's two other nieces who live in Prague. Steiner, 84, told The Observer she hated Stroemfeld for the terrible things they had said about Pasley. "I cannot forgive them for that", she said. "I do not want them to have anything to do with the manuscripts". Steiner, who fled the Nazies and the Communists, is also concerned about the publishers' radical background. - They were student activists in the Sixties. "I don't think Kafka would have approved of such a leftwing organisation publishing his work". Steiner is also a close friend of Dr. Hans-Gerd Koch, Pasley's co-editor, who is fiercely opposed to Wolff's team. He accused it of being in it "for the money". Pasley is seriously ill with multiple sclerosis and was too unwell to talk last week. The Bodleian said that, because of his health, it had assumed control of the manuscripts. Mary Clapinson, keeper of Western manuscripts, said the Bodleian would consider offers to publish a facsimile edition when she had finished cataloguing - and suggested Koch was the frontrunner to edit it."

(13) Am 15.05.98 stellt Leonhard M. Fiedler den "Antrag auf Ausschluß von Herrn KD Wolff aus dem P.E.N.-Zentrum (Bundesrepublik) Deutschland". Im Antrag heißt es: "Der von KD Wolff geleitete Verlag Stroemfeld/Roter Stern, der sich seit einiger Zeit um das Werk Franz Kafkas bemüht, hat es neuerdings für nötig befunden, über Tageszeitungen (F.A.Z. vom 6.5.98) und durch Unterschriftenaktionen einen Wissenschaftler und Autor zu diffamieren, der sich auf unspektakuläre Weise die denkbar größten Verdienste um Kafka erworben hat und der heute, schwerstkrank, sich dieser Angriffe nicht mehr erwehren kann. (...) Der Verlag Stroemfeld wirft Malcolm Pasley (den er fälschlich als "Kurator" bezeichnet) vor, er verweigere den Zugriff auf die Kafka-Manuskripte, den der Verlag zum Zweck der Faksimilierung im Hinblick auf eine anmaßend als "Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe sämtlicher Handschriften..." angekündigten Edition für sich postuliert. Er spricht von einem "Interessenkonflikt" und der Notwendigkeit, die Handschriften der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich zu machen. Auf solche Weise moralisierend werden offensichtliche geschäftliche Interessen zu einem Desiderat der Allgemeinheit stilisiert. Die Bodleiana trägt sich längst mit Plänen einer eigenen Faksimile-Edition, schon um die sensiblen Originale zu schützen. Überdies fragt man sich, warum gerade dem Stroemfeld Verlag ein derartiges Priveleg überlassen werden sollte. Man kann sich durchaus vorstellen, daß Kafkas Nichten, die ihre Eltern und Verwandten in Konzentrationslagern verloren haben, es vorziehen, die Schrift eines Autors, dessen Thema, in unerhörter Intensität, die Freiheit des Individuums ist, nicht gerade einem Verlag übergeben wollen, der noch immer das Emblem einer totalitären Ideologie vor sich herträgt. (...) 4 der Charta des Internationalen P.E.N. stellt fest: "Und da Freiheit auch freiwillig geübte Zurückhaltung einschließt, verpflichten sich die Mitglieder, solchen Auswüchsen einer freien Presse, wie wahrheitswidrigen Veröffentlichungen, unternommen zu politischen und persönlichen Zwecken, entgegenzuarbeiten."

Das beschriebene Verhalten stellt einen groben Verstoß gegen die Charta des Internationalen P.E.N. dar. Wir beantragen den Ausschluß von Herrn KD Wolff aus dem P.E.N.-Zentrum (Bundesrepublik) Deutschland."

Eine gegensätzliche Haltung vertritt das Deutsche P.E.N.-Zentrum (Ost) in seinem am 20.05.98 veröffentlichten Aufruf (unterzeichnet vom Präsidenten B.K. Tragelehn) an die Mitglieder der British Academy: "Herewith I would like to inform you that the German P.E.N. Centre supports the appeal to Sir Malcolm Pasley and the Bodleian Library asking to give permission to Stroemfeld Verlag to reproduce Kafka's manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The appeal was initiated by Professor Harold Bloom (Yale / New York University) and by former American P.E.N. president Louis Begley. I beg you to support the scholarly project of the editors of the new Kafka edition, Dr. Roland Reuß und Dr. Peter Staengle.

Sir Malcolm Pasley's merits concerning his editions of Kafka's works (1983-1994) are undisputed. The less conceivable was his refusal to have Stroemfeld Verlag reproduce Kafka's manuscripts from the Bodleian Library in their facsimile edition. The Stroemfeld edition was the first to show since 1995 and especially with the publication of the first facsimile edition of "Process" ("The Trial") that it is necessary to make available to scholars and the public all of Kafka's manuscripts as he left them. Whoever is now responsible for the Kafka manuscripts should act in the spirit of scholarly fairness.

It is our common duty to defend cultural freedom and free literary expression and we feel a special obligation to the work of one of the most important writers of our century. I beg you to support the appeal to Sir Pasley and the Bodleian Library. We hope that the decision not to allow Stroemfeld Verlag to reproduce the Kafka manuscripts in Oxford will be reversed."

Als Reaktion auf diesen Aufruf nahm Professor T.J. Reed (The Queen's College, Oxford) am 29.06.1998 öffentlich zu der Debatte Stellung:

"The Kafka Manuscripts.

The German P.E.N. Centre (Est) recently appealed to the Fellowship of the Academy for support in securing the release of Franz Kafka's MSS, currently held in the Bodleian Library, for facsimile publication by the Stroemfeld Verlag. The circular carried copies of correspondence with Sir Malcolm Pasley, principal editor of Kafka's works in the S. Fischer Verlag and adviser to Kafka's heirs, in which he declined permission on their behalf for Stroemfeld to reproduce the MSS.

This is represented in the circular as an issue of "cultural freedom and free literary expression", as "outragous", and as "contrary to universal principles of scholarship."

There is no doubting the interest and potential scholarly value of a facsimile edition; such publication is - and already was, before Stroemfeld's application - being considered. But Stroemfeld have not prescriptive right to be the publishers of such an edition. It is true that they have already brought out a facsimile edition of "The Trial", the MS which is owned by the German Literary Archive at Marbach. That was a matter for Marbach to decide. But Stroemfeld describe this publication in the letter to Sir Malcolm of January 18 1995 as "the opening volume of our Kafka edition." It is not clear why they were sure they had a Kafka edition before they had secured rights to the bulk of the remaining MSS.

So the issue is not obviously one of "cultural freedom and free literary expression", or of "universal principles of scholarship", but of commercial speculation and advantage, and of the owner's right to choose through whom to make facsimiles of the MSS available."

(14) (...) "I am discussing with the owners of the Kafka manuscripts the issues involved in a facsimile edition. I enclose a statement of the present position (15), made in response to the unfortunate circular distributed through P.E.N. Berlin (13), a circular which does not help the wider world of scholarship to understand a particularly complex situation.

Since late July 1997 I have been acting for the owners in matters relating to the Kafka manuscripts. They wish access to the manuscripts to be granted only to scholars who can demonstrate that consultation of the original is essential to their research. While cataloguing is being done, it will not be possible to conduct research on the collection as a whole, but applications to consult specific manuscripts will, of course, be considered. You will appreciate that arranging and cataloguing are an essential prerequisite, and that this process takes time. I am not at present able to estimate how long. (...)"

(15) "Kafka Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library.

"The private owners ot the Kafka manuscripts generously deposited them in the Bodleian to facilate the production of the critical edition of his works. As that edition nears completion, priority is now being given to the proper arranging, listing and preservation of the fragile manuscripts. The intention is to move towards the production of facsimiles. For this two stages will be required - first the agreement of all relevant parties and second the selection of suitable editors and publishers. The situation as regards ownership both of the manuscripts themselves and of copyright in them is complex, and there is no single authority to make decisions about publication. It is emphasised that no decision has yet been taken about publishers or editors. This process is taking time, but Fellows of the British Academy should be assured that it will be conducted in a fair and even-handed way for the benefit of all scholars, both present and future."

(16) (...) "I repeat my request for a meeting with you to discuss this project. After all, we have been trying for over four years to arrange such a meeting. We sincerely believe that such a meeting could be very productive and that it would contribute significantly to clearing the air in this entire matter. (...) We have been publically advocating a facsimile edition of Kafka's works together with a typographical transcription since 1994. During that time no other Kafka facsimile project has been proposed or suggested by anyone else. (vgl. 17) For the Bodleian Library to suddenly announce in 1998 that it is now planning a facsimile edition is very odd to say the least.

As the Kafka manuscripts at the Bodleian are held in a public University library, I wonder about your idea of selecting "suitable editors and publishers". This could amount to a violation of basic principles of scholarly research and constitute censorship. That is the reason why B.K. Tragelehn, President of German P.E.N., has taken a public stand in this debate. (And we do not find anything "unfortunate" about this.) The reasons we asked for permission to reproduce the Kafka manuscripts are well documented and I ask you again not to ignore them.

It seems strange, too, that you did not answer my question about when the cataloguing will be finished. A complete catalogue of the Kafka manuscripts held in the Bodleian exists since 1962, published by Sir Malcolm Pasley and reprinted in every volume of the S. Fischer edition (which is, by the way, complete since 1994). An impartial observer could get the impression that the whole issue of "cataloguing" is only a pretext to block our project. (...)

You have expressed indignation about our going public in this matter. You said to journalists from German Television: "Why doesn't Mr Wolff just sit down with us." That is exactly what we have been asking for. It is in the public interest that the Kafka manuscripts be saved and presented in a facsimile edition. After the copyright for Kafka's works has expired it is illegitimate for a University library to help extend it by restricting scholar's access to Kafka's manuscripts.

Please, let us meet soon."

(17) Dagegen spricht ein am 24.12.1994 in der Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung erschienener Artikel: "(...) Vor einem Monat etwa schon wurden er [Roland Reuß]und Peter Staengle, sein Mitherausgeber bei der Kleist-Ausgabe, in Marbach gesichtet. Im dortigen Literaturarchiv liegen nämlich einige der Handschriften Kafkas, vor allem zum "Proceß". Dort sind sie zugänglich. Andere aber sind in der Bodleian Library in Oxford deponiert. Wer sie benutzen will, muß eine Erlaubnis einholen. Sir Malcolm Pasley, einer der Herausgeber der bei S. Fischer erscheinenden Ausgabe, betreut, was die Nichten Kafkas der Bibliothek anvertraut haben. Das Gerücht hat auch er vernommen, das Projekt einer zweiten kritischen Ausgabe will er aber nicht kommentieren.

Am 2. Januar soll, so heißt es von gut unterrichteter Seite, wenigstens ein Stück "Proceß" in einer Faksimile-Ausgabe vorgestellt werden. Derweil kündigt der S. Fischer Verlag dasselbe Werk in der Textedition von Malcolm Pasley einschließlich eines vollständigen Faksimiles des Roman-Manuskripts auf CD-ROM an.(18) Der Prozeß führt nach Kafkanien."

(18) "Franz Kafkas Roman Der Proceß. Faksimile und Kritische Kafka-Ausgabe bei S. Fischer auf CD-ROM.

Die 1990 erschienene Kritische Ausgabe von Franz Kafkas Roman Der Proceß soll im Herbst 1995 in einer Computer-Edition des S. Fischer-Verlags, Frankfurt herauskommen.

In ihr wird sowohl die Textedition des Oxforder Germanisten Malcolm Pasley als auch ein vollständiges Faksimile des Romanmanuskripts enthalten sein. Mit den Möglichkeiten des neuen Mediums werden auf diese Weise zum einen originalgetreue Reproduktionen der Handschrift geboten, zum anderen neben dem Text der Kritischen Ausgabe mit noch größerer Transparenz alle im Apparatband enthaltenen Informationen. Der komplizierte Schreibprozeß, die Verzahnung der Romanniederschrift mit Tagebucheintragungen und anderen Texten - in der Buchausgabe über den Umweg graphischer Darstellungen veranschaulicht - werden in der CD-ROM-Edition mit Hilfe von Faksimiles der jeweiligen Manuskriptblätter visuell nachvollziehbar.

Als dokumentarische Ergänzung bietet die Computer-Edition der Romantext in der von Max Brod herausgegebenen ersten Ausgabe. Mit den Möglichkeiten des Mediums CD-ROM werden damit erstmals alle in Bild und Text verfügbaren Informationen zu Franz Kafkas Roman dargeboten.

S. Fischer Verlag, Pressestelle. Frankfurt a.M., 23.12.1994."

(19) "Thank you for your letter of 14 July. It contains many statements and implied accusations which suggest that you continue to misunderstand the position. The Kafka manuscripts are privately owned; until July 1997 the owners entrusted all matters relating to access and publication to Sir Malcolm Pasley; since then the access to the manuscripts has been granted to scholars who can demonstrate that consultation of the originals is essential to their research. The owners are now prepared to consider proposals for a facsimile edition, but before photography can take place the manuscripts must be arranged into a final order and catalogued. That work is proceeding, but, given the limited staffing available, progress can only be slow.

From last July the Bodleian advises the owners on matters of access and publication. You must recognise that the owners of the manuscripts have the right to decide which publishers to choose for the publication of facsimiles. Your announcement of a complete facsimile edition before their consent was obtained does not give Stroemfeld Verlag a prior claim.

As I have already made clear, the owners are willing to consider proposals for facsimile publication. I am prepared to meet you in the hopes that such a meeting would 'contribute significantly to clearing the air'. It would be helpful both to have the opportunity to explain to you the standard conditions on which the Bodleian negotiates facsimiles and on which I would base our advise to the owners and to learn more of what Stroemfeld Verlag would like to propose. It will not, of course, be a meeting at which final decisions can be made or permission granted. Would you like to suggest possible dates for meeting here?" (...)

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