the peculiar virtue of photographic representations as attested to by Karl Rossmann, der Verschollene

he picked up the photograph of his parents in which his diminutive father stood erect whereas his mother sat a little shrunken in the armchair in front. … trying to catch his father’s eye from various angles. But no matter how hard he tried to change his father’s appearance by moving the candle around, he refused to become more animated; besides, there was nothing even remotely true to life about his firm horizontal moustache; it was simply not a good picture. But his mother had been better captured; her mouth was twisted as if she had endured some injury and were forcing herself to smile. To Karl it seemed that everyone who saw the picture would be so struck by this that the next moment it seemed as if the very quality of this impression was too strong and almost nonsensical.

– Franz Kafka, Amerika: The Missing Person, trans. Mark Harman, Schocken Books, New York, 2008, pp. 89-90