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A Hunger Artist

A Hunger Artist


by Franz Kafka

A Hunger Artist Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph) We used Stanley Corngold's translation.

Quote #1

In the past few decades the interest in starvation artists has greatly declined. Whereas earlier it was very profitable to stage independent productions of such grand performances, today that is completely impossible. Times were different then. (1)

The narrator never tells us why starvation art was popular, or why interest in starvation art declined. Which makes us wonder, what kind of a society appreciates hunger art?

Quote #2

[…] while for the grownups it was often only a joke, in which they joined because it was all the rage, the children looked on in open-mouthed wonder […] (1)

As in many Kafka stories, children stand in for a way of looking at the world with wonder and innocence, a way that more jaded and cynical adults have grown out of. He's kind of like Roald Dahl in this way.

Quote #3

[…] the starvation artist had never, under any circumstances, even under compulsion, taken in even the slightest morsel: the honor of his art forbade such an action. (2)

The narrator often tells us how strict the starvation regimen is. There's even an "honor" to it.

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