General Dynamics nuclear-powered naval vessels ad: Time, 17 September 1956 (Gallery of Graphic Design)
Kafka's shame, then, is no more personal than the life and thought which govern it and which he has described thus: "He does not live for the sake of his own life, he does not think for the sake of his own thought. He feels as though he were living and thinking under the constraint of a family. . . . Because of this unknown family . . . he cannot be released." We do not know the make-up of this unknown family, which is composed of human beings and animals. But this much is clear: it is this family that forces Kafka to move cosmic ages in his writings. Doing this family's bidding, he moves the mass of historical happenings as Sisyphus rolled the stone. As he does so, its nether side comes to light; it is not a pleasant sight, but Kafka is capable of bearing it. "To believe in progress is not to believe that progress has taken place. That would be no belief." Kafka did not consider the age in which he lived as an advance over the beginnings of time. His novels are set in a swamp world. In his works, created things appear at the stage which Bachofen has termed the hetairic stage. The fact that it is now forgotten does not mean that it does not extend into the present. On the contrary, it is actual by virtue of this very oblivion.
Borg-Warner ad: Life, 8 April 1957 (Gallery of Graphic Design)
Walter Benjamin: excerpt from Franz Kafka: On the Tenth Anniversary of his Death, from Jüdische Rundschau, 1934, translated by Harry Zohn in Illuminations, 1968