• Richard Farr

Kafka's progress



Today's quote of the day from The Browser - which I recommend to everyone - struck a cord for me. It's a commonplace in our culture to talk of "advanced civilization," and mean something like ours; almost as common is to talk of "advanced civilizations" and mean aliens who carry in their pockets the cool technology to which we aspire. How vastly embarrassing it will be, shortly after our first visit from another star, when a polite snigger echoes around the galaxy as it is revealed that the primitive ape-creatures of Earth thought "advanced civilization" meant "technologically advanced civilization." Thus the Wizard of Prague:

”Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made”

Irrelevant aside. Look into those eyes. Look at that tie, that suit, that hair, that heart-rending Mona Lisa inscrutability. How on earth did Kafka pull off the eerie trick of looking so inimitably, so perfectly, so indelibly like ... Kafka?