Benjamin on Kafka: failure

“To do justice to the figure of Kafka in its purity and its peculiar beauty, one must never lose sight of the one thing: it is the figure of a failure. The circumstances of this failure are manifold. One is tempted to say: once he was certain of eventual failure, everything worked out for him en route as in a dream. There is nothing more memorable than the fervor with which Kafka emphasized his failure” (Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, pg 566, Letter to Gerhard Scholem, June 12, 1938)