A Hunger Artist Essay

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In the following excerpt, Stallman explores the multiple levels of meaning in "A Hunger Artist," proclaiming that it is one of the "greatest short stories of our time."

"A Hunger-Artist" epitomizes Kafka's theme of the corruption of interhuman relationships, as one of his critics defines it. It is one of his perfections, if not his best story, and it belongs surely with the greatest short stories of our time.

The present essay attempts to open up the cage of Kafka's meaning in "A Hunger-Artist," But first, as a starting point for our analysis, here is the story at its literal plane, a matter-of-fact account stripped of interpretation:

The story is about a once-popular spectacle staged for the entertainment of a pleasure-seeking public: the exhibition of a professional "hunger-artist" performing in a cage of straw his stunt of fasting. His cage's sole decoration is a clock. His spectators see...

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This section contains 3,135 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Hunger Artist Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A Hunger Artist from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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