Great Story: "A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka

Every now and then I’ll post a link to a short story I love — in this case “Ein Hungerk√ľnstler,” in translation — to try and spark a discussion about it. (I’ll include links to all the “Great Story” blog posts on my homepage, in the hope of keeping the comments going for a while…)

Franz Kafka was the twentieth-century writer who spoke most directly to the human heart; this was one of the last stories he wrote; you are invited to (1) click on the link above to read or reread the story, and then (2) post comments if so moved. I’ll post comments too.

Here’s something I only just learned: in the twenty-five years or so since I first fell in love with “A Hunger Artist,” I’ve assumed that the phenomenon of hunger artists was something Kafka made up, but according to this article, apparently not: fasting really used to be a spectator sport? What an amazing idea for a story! Oops, guess I’m eighty-five years too late…

Now read the story…

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