x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Take Five: Works discovered after the artists' deaths

Five more examples of posthumously uncovered work following the news that a previously unknown poem by the late Philip Larkin is to be broadcast this week.

Philip Larkin, who died in 1985
Philip Larkin, who died in 1985

A newly discovered poem by Philip Larkin is to be broadcast by the BBC this week. The poem, Dear Jake, dated 1976, was found in a notebook. Here are five other examples of posthumously uncovered work.

 

Take five... Ted Hughes

A poem describing the night his wife Sylvia Plath committed suicide in February 1963 was discovered this year by the television arts pundit Melvyn Bragg. Last Letter begins: "What happened that night? Your final night".

 

Take four… JD Salinger

The reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye is believed to have kept a cache of unpublished novels in a vault at his retreat in Corniche, New Hampshire. One neighbour said Salinger told him he had 15 novels in the safe.

 

Take three… Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway's portraits of the expatriate writers' circle in 1920s Paris were discovered posthumously by his wife Mary. They included sketches of Gertrude Stein, F Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford.

 

Take two… Franz Kafka

When Kafka died in 1924, he left his friend Max Brod orders to burn his archive. Instead, Brod prepared texts for three novels: The Trial, The Castle and Amerika, and locked up the rest of the archive. This year the Israeli Supreme Court ordered it opened.

 

Take one… Vladimir Nabokov

After the Lolita author died in 1977, an unfinished novel was found among his papers. He had left instructions for it to be destroyed, but in 2008 his son Dmitri said it would be published. The Original of Laura hit the shelves in 2009, to mixed reviews.