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A Hunger Artist

A Hunger Artist


by Franz Kafka

The Hunger Artist (a.k.a. The Starvation Artist) Timeline and Summary

  • At the peak of his popularity, the artist draws crowds to his performance.
  • He is watched by a group of mostly butchers, who ensure that he does not take a bite.
  • He starves for a period of forty days.
  • At the end of the period, he is led out of his cage to great fanfare, where a small meal has been prepared for him.
  • For some unknown reason, the artist's popularity takes a nosedive. No one wants to watch him anymore.
  • The artist fires his manager and signs on with a circus.
  • At the circus, he can starve for as long as he wants, so long that not even he knows the exact number of days he's been starving.
  • Some time later, the circus supervisor finds the artist under some straw in the cage. The artist whispers his last words to the circus supervisor and dies.
  • The circus workers bury the artist along with the straw and put a young panther in his cage.