Critical consciousness, thought in general, perhaps, always comes after the fact, a day too late, like Kafka’s Messiah—or it comes at the close of the day, like Hegel’s owl. It is nothing but retrospective prophecy, or some platonic shadow dancing on the wall of events, in the cavern of history. 'If I speak of time,' Queneau wrote, 'it is because we are already out of time.' History doesn’t offer a second seating (L’histoire ne repasse pas les plats)—only critique does.