A Hunger Artist Our 3rd free ebook from ReadFwd Editions is one of Kafka’s lesser-known writings. A very short one, called “A Hunger Artist”. Here’s a paragraph that might convince you to quickly read this one. It’s worth every second spent reading it.
“I always wanted you to admire my fasting,” said the hunger artist. “But we do admire it,” said the supervisor obligingly. “But you shouldn’t admire it,” said the hunger artist. “Well then, we don’t admire it,” said the supervisor, “but why shouldn’t we admire it?” ”Because I had to fast. I can’t do anything else,” said the hunger artist. “Just look at you,” said the supervisor, “why can’t you do anything else?” ”Because,” said the hunger artist, lifting his head a little and, with his lips pursed as if for a kiss, speaking right into the supervisor’s ear so that he wouldn’t miss anything, “because I couldn’t find a food which tasted good to me. If had found that, believe me, I would not have made a spectacle of myself and would have eaten to my heart’s content, like you and everyone else.”
Many thanks to Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC, that allowed us to use his translation. Check out his website for more excellent translations from Kafka, http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/kafka/kafkatofc.htm