But what is it, exactly, that drives him down into the burrow of himself, there to cower in Kierkegaardian fear and loathing? He saw himself as alien, hardly human, a creature who, as one of Nietzsche’s friends said of the philosopher, seemed to come from a place where no one else lived. Why? In seeking an answer, one returns to Erich Heller’s elegant characterization of Kafka’s prose style as at once lucid and obscure. Native speakers assure us of the limpid beauty of Kafka’s German, of its unrivaled purity and conciseness. Yet his language, like Freud’s, gives a distinct sense of shroudedness. His sentences move like Loie Fuller’s Chinese dancers in Yeats’s poem “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” who “enwound/A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,” inside which the dancers themselves seemed no more than flickering shadows. In Kafka, something is always not being said. What is it?