A Hunger Artist
by Franz Kafka
A Hunger Artist Suffering Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph) We used Stanley Corngold's translation.
[…] inwardly his dissatisfaction continued to gnaw at him, and never, after any period of starving – you had to grant him this distinction – had he ever left the cage of his own free will. (3)
Get it – the artist's dissatisfaction continued to "gnaw" at him?
[…] why stop right now, when he was in his starving prime – indeed, not yet even in his prime? Why did they want to rob him of the glory of continuing to starve, the glory not only of becoming the greatest starvation artist of all time, which he probably was already, but in addition, of topping his own efforts to an inconceivable point? (3)
The artist is tormented by the fact that no one seems to care enough about his art form to give him the chance to really go for it.
[…] he was tired, he was sitting comfortably in the straw, and now he was supposed to stand tall and proceed to his meal, the very thought of which was enough to make him feel queasy and nauseous […] (3)
Yet another passage that emphasizes that it isn't the hunger that gives the artist pain, but the end of hunger. This scene is even more ironic when we learn in the last paragraph that the artist starved because he couldn't find anything he liked to eat. His nausea in this scene doesn't have anything to do with his artistry, but rather his personal distaste for food.