Essay About The Theme Of A Hunger Artist

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Yet, Karl (1991) notes Kafka's disclosure to Milena about "his sexual disgust when he was with prostitutes" (87).

Kafka's promiscuous behavior can be related to Don Juanism, which is evidenced in an "unusual or talented man, who is still not unusual enough to make his mark as a creator, a thinker, etc.

However, he has not examined the gaze in Ein Hungerknstler where the hunger artist is voyeur and exhibit, who seeks contact from passer-bys in the practice of his art, but also repulses them in spite of it.

Since Kafka literature is not in agreement about Kafka's sexual orientation, it seems more important to elucidate the conflict Kafka experienced in sex and relationships, which resulted from his discomfort about body and sex.

Thus, I shall elucidate the dilemma of the hunger artist by reconstructing Kafka's personal conflict.

His conscience had so internalized parental authority that he was fixated on a way of life that if transgressed would involve retribution from his parents.The connection between food and marriage is further evidenced in Julie's attempt to have Felice Bauer coax Kafka to a more hearty diet in the same way that the passerbys coaxed the hunger artist to eat.Since the hunger artist would become enraged when asked if he wanted to eat, no one knew what he wanted.In June 1923, Kafka could no longer work due to tuberculosis of the lungs and the larynx, and he received his pension from the Worker's Accident Insurance Office in and met Dora Dymant, who had decided to live independently of her Polish Orthodox family.In July 1923, Kafka overcame his indecision to live independent of his family to devote his energy to writing and to live with Dora in a It is ironic, as Karl (1991) notes, that Kafka had, "consciously or not, placed himself in the same position as the hunger artist: starving, watching people eat and drink, gaining his pleasure from observing, knowing he was holding himself back, in this instance physically unable to participate" (755).Benbow (2006) argues that food in Kafka is a critique of the "gender hegemony of his day," and that the consumption of meat signifies masculine privilege while fasting and vegetarianism represent its rejection (347-348).Kafka developed an eating regimen that eliminated all meat, which he associated with Hermann.Mecke (1982) links Kafka's unmusicality with gay sex at the turn of the century (76) while Corngold (2007) notes that Kafka associated it with his writing as indicated in a letter dated July 1920 to Milena Jesensk (85).Although Corngold Mecke (1982) interprets Ein Hungerknstler as Kafka's desire to be free of his homosexual compulsions and to find acceptance in a new natural state, a heterosexual relationship, with Dora Dymant (8).In a sense, both Kafka and the hunger artist exhibit a "primal scream" for understanding.And both Kafka and the hunger artist not only torture others, who are horrified by their refusal to eat and to be sociable, but they also torment themselves by blaming others for their suffering and the inability of others to know what they want. The masochist disavows his own need and will to suffer by turning the execution of his suffering over to someone else by means of a contract.


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