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A Hunger Artist
     

A Hunger Artist

3.5 2
by Franz Kafka
 

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A Hunger Artist, published in 1924, was the last book Kafka put out during his lifetime, editing the proofs virtually on his deathbed. The four stories contained in this volume First Sorrow,A Little Woman,A Hunger Artist, and Josephine, the Singer mark his maturity as a writer. The story from which the volume takes its name is one

Overview

A Hunger Artist, published in 1924, was the last book Kafka put out during his lifetime, editing the proofs virtually on his deathbed. The four stories contained in this volume First Sorrow,A Little Woman,A Hunger Artist, and Josephine, the Singer mark his maturity as a writer. The story from which the volume takes its name is one of KafkaÕs most famous and enigmatic.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kafka's sirens are silent. Perhaps for Kafka music and singing are an expression or at least a token of escape, a token of hope which comes to us from that intermediate world - at once unfinished and commonplace, comforting and silly - in which the assistants are at home. Kafka is like the lad who set out to learn what fear was. He has got into Potemkin's palace and finally, in the depths of its cellar, has encountered Josephine, the singing mouse ..." -- Walter Benjamin

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781493770212
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
11/15/2013
Pages:
26
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.05(d)

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Read an Excerpt

From A Little Woman: She is a little woman; quite slim by nature, she is tightly bound; I always see her in the same dress, it is made from a yellowish gray fabric that in a certain way resembles the color of wood, and is decorated with tassels or certain buttonlike fringes of the same color; she never wears a hat, her dull blond hair is smooth and not messy, although she wears it very loosely. Although she is tightly bound, she is quite flexible, and she exaggerates this flexibility; she likes to put her hands on her hips, and, surprisingly quickly, turn her upper body sideways with a single movement. I can only reproduce the impression that her hand makes on me by saying that I have never seen a hand in which the fingers are as sharply divided from one another as hers. However, her hand is in no way an anatomical peculiarity; it is a completely normal hand.

This little woman is very unhappy with me, there is always something about me that she finds objectionable, some injustice is always being done to her because of me, I annoy her at every step; if it were possible to divide life up into the smallest possible pieces and judge each piece separately, there is no doubt that every little piece of my life would annoy her. I have often wondered why I annoy her so much; it could be that everything about me contradicts her sense of beauty, her sense of justice, her habits, her traditions, her hopes; such contrary natures exist, but why does she let it cause her so much suffering? There is no relationship between us that would cause her to suffer because of me. She need only decide to view me as a complete stranger since this is after all what I am and since I would have nothing against such a decision she need only decide to forget my existence, which I never have and never would force upon her and all her suffering would obviously be over. In this I take no account of myself or of the fact that her behavior makes me uncomfortable, I ignore this because I recognize that this discomfort is nothing compared to her suffering. Of course I am completely aware that it is not a loving suffering; it has nothing to do with improving me, especially since everything she objects to in me is not of such a nature that it might prevent my success. But my success does not worry her either, what worries her is precisely her personal interest, namely, to take revenge for the torment that I cause her, and to prevent the torment that threatens to come from me in the future. I once tried to show her the best possible way of putting an end to this incessant annoyance, but in so doing I caused such an outburst of rage that I will never repeat the attempt.

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 - 3 June 1924) was a culturally influential German-language novelist. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
July 3, 1883
Date of Death:
June 3, 1924
Place of Birth:
Prague, Austria-Hungary
Place of Death:
Vienna, Austria
Education:
German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

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A Hunger Artist (KnowledgeNotes Student Guides) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hunger Artist is unique like any other of Kafka's works. It is skillfully written and looks at what one man, a hunger artist, will do to prove his worth. The story leaves the reader with a feeling that they could actually get inside the hunger artist's head to understand the importance to starve oneself.