"Wakefield" prefigures Franz Kafka, but the latter modifies, and sharpens, the reading of "Wakefield." The debt is mutual; a great writer creates his or her precursors. He or she creates them and in some fashion justifies them.
In the critic's vocabulary, the word "precursor" is indispensable, but it should be cleansed of all connotations of polemic or rivalry. The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.jorge luis borges