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Encyclopedia > Nachlass

A literary executor is a person with decision-making power in respect of the literary estate of an author who has died. The literary estate will often consist mainly of the copyright and other intellectual property rights of published works (including for example film rights and translation rights). It may well also include: original manuscripts of published work, which potentially have a market value; unpublished work in a finished state or partially completed; and papers of intrinsic literary interest such as correspondence or personal diaries and records. (In academia, the German language term Nachlass for the legacy of papers is often used.) The word author has several meanings: The author of a book, story, article or the like, is the person who has written it (or is writing it). ... Copyright symbol. ... Intellectual property or IP refers to a legal entitlement which sometimes attaches to the expressed form of an idea, or to some other intangible subject matter. ... Plato is credited with the inception of academia: the body of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations. ... German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ...


Since the literary estate is a legacy to the author's heirs, the management of it in financial terms is a responsibility of trust. The position of literary executor has more to it than the simple monetary aspect, though. Appointment to such a position, perhaps informally, is often a matter of the author's choice during his or her lifetime. If a sympathetic and understanding friend is in the position of literary executor, there can be obvious tensions. What is to be managed is not just a portfolio of intellectual property, but a posthumous reputation. Wishes of the deceased author may have been clearly expressed, but are not always respected. Family members often express strong feelings about privacy of the dead. For example, biographical writing is likely to be of a quite different authority if it is carried out with access to private papers. The literary executor then becomes a gatekeeper. For other uses, see inheritance (disambiguation). ...


Celebrated examples of literary executors include Max Brod for Franz Kafka, and Robert Ross for Oscar Wilde. If Brod had followed Kafka's expressed wishes on the destruction of his papers, Kafka's reputation would be quite other. The older examples of such appointments, such as Kenelm Digby for Ben Jonson, are essentially editorial rather than legal. A prominent contemporary case is Christopher Tolkien's work on J. R. R. Tolkien's papers. Max Brod Max Brod (May 27, 1884 - December 20, 1968) was an ethnically Jewish Czech German-speaking author, composer, and journalist. ... Kafka redirects here. ... The name Robert Ross is shared by several notable individuals: a British general of the early 1800s, see Robert Ross (general) an art historian (1869-1918), and friend of Oscar Wilde, see Robert Baldwin Ross an American blues vocalist and guitarist, and leader of the Robert Ross Band see Robert... Oscar Wilde Oscar Fingal OFlahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) was an Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and short story writer. ... Sir Kenelm Digby (July 11, 1603 – July 11, 1665) was born at Gayhurst, Buckinghamshire. ... Benjamin Jonson (June 11, 1572 – August 6, 1637) was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. ... Christopher Reuel Tolkien (born November 21, 1924) is best known as the son of author J. R. R. Tolkien, and as the editor of much of his fathers posthumously published work. ... J. R. R. Tolkien in 1972, in his study at Merton Street (from by H. Carpenter) John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) is best known as the author of The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings. ...


See also: Executor An executor is a person named by a maker of a will to carry out the directions of the will. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Past Masters Series - Wittgenstein's Nachlass: The Bergen Electronic Edition (411 words)
The Nachlass was catalogued by G. von Wright in his The Wittgenstein Papers (1969), and later updated and included as a chapter with the same title in his book Wittgenstein (1982).
The Bergen edition of Wittgenstein's Nachlass is the result of 10 years of academic research and editorial work by the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen.
The CD-ROM version of the Nachlass contains both diplomatic and normalized transcriptions of the approximately 150 manuscripts, typescripts and dictations left by Wittgenstein in various stages of revision at the time of his death.
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