Absurdism in Kafka’s A Hunger Artist
AbstractAbstract Views: 63
Albert Camus’ philosophy of the Absurd has been used as one of the many interpretative dialogues for Franz Kafka’s literary works, particularly his short story, A Hunger Artist. This paper explored the various facets of absurdism described in The Myth of Sisyphus and connects it with the short story by arguing that A Hunger Artist has more to reveal than its narrative content. Examining the similarities and differences between Camus’ Sisyphus and the protagonist of A Hunger Artist, helps produce absurdist interpretations of the text. The question of finding meaning in an indifferent universe and the predicament of being wedged in an endless loop of a monotonous cycle of life is explored until the very end of the short story. The dilemma of the protagonist, the disillusionment with society fused with the complicated reality of the human condition are all elements present in A Hunger Artist that help identify existentialism through fiction. When seen through the absurdist perspective, the hunger artist stands as a figure, depicting the disunity between man and the universe, and the internal and external conflict between the rational and irrational in an unresponsive universe. Analysing this fiction through the philosophy of absurdism generates significant standpoints that bring forth the author’s individual reasoning as a consolation to the questioning, existentialist mind.
Abu-Snoubar, T. K. (2020). Symbolism and the Alienation of the Artist in A Hunger Artist. Forum for World Literature Studies, 158-173.
Akbar, M. A., & Khan, N. U. (2021). Anguish and Nothingness in Kafka’s ‘A Country Doctor’ and ‘The Starvation- Artist’. Elementary Education Online, 2835-2841.
Bennet, M. Y. (2015). Cambridge Introduction to Theatre and Literature of the Absurd. Cambridge University Press.
Biography.com Editors. (2021, May 10). Franz Kafka Biography. From The Biography.com Web site: https://www.biography.com/writer/franz-kafka
Camus, A. (1979). The Myth of Sisyphus. Great Britain: Penguin Books.
Cornwell, N. (2006). Franz Kafka: otherness in the labyrinth of absurdity. In N. Cornwell, The absurd in literature (pp. 184-214). Manchester University Press.
Edwards, I. (1991, December 29). The Essence of 'Kafkaesque'. From The New York Times Web site: https://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/29/nyregion/the-essence-of-kafkaesque.html
Francis, S., & Prahaladaiah, D. (2019). Existential Approach to Franz Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'. Online International Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 22-27.
Gilman, S. L. (2005). A Life ill. In S. L. Gilman, Franz Kafka (pp. 102-130). Reaktion Books.
Hooti, N., & Borna, M. R. (2014). The Profound Sense of Dissatisfaction: A Comparative Study of Franz Kafka’s A Hunger Artist and Maulana Jalalu-d'-Din Muhammad i Rumi’s A Man of Baghdad. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 53-57.
Kafka, F. (2012). A Hunger Artist. In F. Kafka, A Hunger Artist and Other Stories (pp. 94-103). Oxford University Press.
Lee, K. (2017). Fathering the Kafkaesque: Transcendental Authority and the Problem of the Absurd In Kafka. doi:https://doi.org/10.17615/k34c-g386
Steinhauer, H. (1962). Hungering Artist or Artist in Hungering: Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist”. Criticism, 28–43.
Sutherland, J. (2013). Absurd Existences. In J. Sutherland, A Little History of Literature (pp. 179-184). Yale University Press.
Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of History and Social Sciences
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)