Kafka in a letter to Max Brod, c. 1910:
My whole body puts me on my guard against each word; each word, before letting itself be put down, has to look round on every side; the phrases positively fall apart in my hands, I see what they are like inside and then I have to stop quickly.
That sounds about right, doesn’t it?
Kafka: a yellow and black collected stories with a linocut of a beetle on the cover, found in the school library and picked up because of the strange name. The discovery that something totally unanticipated was possible, like installing a whole new suite of software.