“We need books that work on us like misfortune (Unglück), that hurt us like the death of one who is dearer to us than ourselves, as if we were exiled into the woods far from all humans, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief” (Letter to Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904).

— Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis