What if Brod had destroyed everything? Would Kafka have become Kafka? Would we know his writing? Yes, several stories were published in his lifetime, and would have remained theoretically extant. And this includes, crucially, not just "The Metamorphosis", probably his most famous work, but also "In the Penal Colony", "A Report to an Academy", "First Sorrow", and "A Hunger Artist". Overall, by my edition of the collected stories, approximately 250 pages of fiction, much of it essential reading. Obviously, we would not have The Trial, the second most famous work, or any of the other novels, or certainly the diaries.
Brod emerges as something of a comic figure, pathetic even, the lesser writer in the shadow of his friend, ethically unforgivable to some for the singular crime of not following Kafka's directive to burn. But how much of Kafka's reputation rests on Brod's efforts? That is, without Brod providing a critical framework, in the context of the posthumous novels and saved stories, do these early published stories necessarily survive? Not survive literally, but gain a foothold? I know I'm asking a more or less impossible question, but I like to think about contingency, how easily things could have been different, worse, better.