"meandering discussions around the table about Kafka or Picasso"
Picasso, painted by fellow Cubist Juan Gris
Public DomainPicasso, painted by fellow Cubist Juan Gris

Franz Kafka was a German writer from the early half of the twentieth century, noted for surreal works that often dealt with paranoia or persecution.  In the context of Never Let Me Go, his most significant work is the novel The Trial.  The protagonist of this book is Joseph K., whose initialled surname bears comparison with characters like Kathy H. and Tommy D.

Pablo Picasso was the most famous artist of the cubist movement, who painted many familiar works such as ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ and 'Weeping Woman'. 

Picasso at Artchive

Make your own Picasso with Mr. Picassohead