Peter von Matt opens and closes his Literaturgeschichte des menschlichen Gesichts (1983) with portraits taken from Franz Kafka’s diary which bear witness to a radical crisis of perception. These portraits, mainly found in the annotations of the years 1910-1912, represent one of the main impulses of Kafka’s writing in which a facial detail can become the symbol for an age. This paper aims at analyzing the perceptive distortions which characterize Kafka’s annotations, focusing in particular on the concept of Entstellung, which has a central role in Walter Benjamin’s poetics.