Kafka called literature an axe that breaks open the frozen sea inside us. His sentence describes the liberation and discovery of genuine art. It also holds a diagnosis: we are beings in need of breaking open, if we are to know the full dimensions of who we are. In his works, Kafka drew portraits not just of individuals but of an age still recognizably our own. The frozen sea is not only an individual prison, it is the quality of a culture in which, as the Siberian herders might say, certain powerful but stupid gods hold sway. It is not necessary here to name them, the list would be long and also boring. But one can say this much: these cultural forces do not want us to find our way to the serious depths. They want to keep us as they are: uni-dimensional and shallow and hungry only for a life of the surface.