We might think of Kafka’s response to his friend Max Brod’s question about hope and whether there was any outside the world as we know it. ‘Plenty of hope,’ Kafka said. ‘But not for us.’
Where did Kafka learn to think like this? A case could be made that he found his training not in his intricate psyche or in his horrified commitment to writing – ‘the service of the Devil’, he called it – but in his day job at the Prague Institute for Workmen’s Accident Insurance.
—Michael Wood on Kafka's office writings, London Review of Books