Kafka Paper

“The Hunger Artist “ was first published in 1922, and it was written by Franz Kafka. This story is an artist whose art is just him sitting in a cage fasting for the audience. The artist travels all around Europe putting on these shows. His whole performance  relies on the audience.    

“The Hunger Artist “ was first published in 1922, and Franz Kafka wrote it. This story is an artist whose art is just him sitting in a cage fasting for the audience. His whole performance relies on the audience. But when the audience starts to thin out his manager puts him in a circus. The Artist investable forgotten  about in the cage and dies.  There are three key things that make the story, the fact that the artist never feels satisfied with his art so he never ate, the  fact that the artist was the only one who knew that he wasn’t really eating and why the audience kept the artist alive. This story can be read as a story with a lesson in it about art and being an artist.

The artist never felt content with his work so he never thought that he deserved to eat. This could be his innermost feeling telling him he isn’t going enough to eat, “because I couldn’t find the food I liked. If I had found it, believe me, I should have made no fuss and stuffed myself like you or anyone else” (340). This quote shows how he just couldn’t find any food that he liked. Maybe his taste buds just don’t let him enjoy food because deep down he doesn’t feel like he deserves it.

The artist is the only one who knows that he is really fasting for the whole time. The People who were watching him assume that he would try to sneak food but little did they know the artist doesn’t like food, “ only the artist himself could know that he was therefore bound to be the sole completely satisfied spectator of his own fast” (335). This quote shows how no one really knew expect the artist how long he was fasting for and his reasons why. No one could watch the artist all the time so he was the only one who knew that he really wasn’t eating anything at all.

In this story, the spectators play the most important role. This is because the artist feeds off the energy from the people. He lives off them watching and without them, he isn’t an artist. “Experience had proved that for about forty days the interest of the public could be stimulated by a steadily increasing pressure of advertisement, but after that, the town began to lose interest, sympathetic support began notably to fall off…” (335). When the people started to lose interest. It literally killed him because no one was keeping track of the days. He didn’t have a crowd so he didn’t have anything to live for.

The hungered artist couldn’t survive without a crowd watching him. Not being satisfied with himself also lead to his demise. The artist only could only really trust himself when it came to not eating. Also since no one came to see him starve himself, he didn’t have a reason to be an artist.

Reality? How do we know it’s real?

How is the manipulation of reality portrayed in literature? This is explored in Wideman’s “Stories,” Borges’s “The Circular Ruins” and Sontag’s “On Photography”. All of these works of literature look at reality in very interesting and different ways. It seems that there can be multiple realities and sometimes people will make up reality for people that they don’t even know. In Wideman’s “stories,” the narrator is seeing a man eating a banana from the perspective a man watching from a window. In this story, it’s hard to tell whose reality the story is being told from. In “The Circular Ruins,” you see a man who is dreaming of other people and making up realities for other people. In “On Photography” by Sontag, Sontag discusses how you can really make your own reality in your photography and make it any way you want. In the literary works by Borges, Sontag, and Wideman they all show that reality is subjective to the person interpreting the situation.

In Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Circular Ruins,” the perception of reality is very hard to grasp. It is a story of a man who is feeling he is from somewhere. He soon begins to dream about teaching a class. Soon he starts to teach only one student, one alone and teaches him everything he knows. He then sends the student to train down the river, to a place where there are ruins that catch fire. The man thinks to head to the water to hide from the flames; but the flames didn’t affect him and he realizes that he was in another man’s dream: “With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he realized that he, too, was but appearance, that another man was dreaming him.”(Borges). This shows how the man was in someone else’s dream even though the man himself was having dreams in another man’s head; all at the same time. This is one man’s reality, but in fact, there are three different realities. The reality of the man who had the dream, the reality of the student and his own reality. This shows that reality is subjective because the man who is dreaming of these people is dreaming and his dreams are subjective.

In Susan Sontag’s On Photography, she says “ Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are” (Sontag). In this, Sontag is saying that in photography, reality can be molded and shaped to whatever the photographer wants. It can be just like a painting; you can make things just as you want. So when you see a picture it’s part of reality but all of the aspects of the image can be changed. It’s subjective because it’s affected by the person’s preference.

John Edgar Wideman’s “Stories,” tells a tale of a man walking in the rain eating a banana. It is a strange story, and it seems to be told by someone who is watching him from a window: “The only answer I know is this: all the stories I could make from this man walking in the rain eating banana would be sad unless I’m behind a window with you looking out at him.”(Wideman). This shows that the story is being told from someone watching from a window. This person in the window is just trying to figure out what the man was doing and what made him want to eat a banana in the rain. He also goes on to say that all the stories he would come up with would be sad without this other person. It’s subjective because the man’s emotions are affecting it.

All three of these stories have the same engineered reality. All these change the reality of the people they are dreaming about or writing about or capturing. They change according to what they subjectively like. Most people are subjective when it comes to their work because it’s very hard to leave out personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. In Borges’s story, the man is dreaming so he is projecting his life into the dream so it is subjective. In Sontag’s piece, she tells us that her work is changed because of her taste and how she wants to perceive the photo, so it’s subjective. In Wideman’s “Stories,” the story is made because the person who is telling it misses someone, so its objective. Thus, the literary works by Borges, Sontag, and Wideman all show that reality is subjective to the person interpreting the situation.

Theo’s Version of A Man Walking in the Rain

A woman walking in the snow eating a kiwi. Where did she get this kiwi it’s not kiwi season. Where is she going with that kiwi. Does she mind the snow. Does she feel it on her face and hands. Does the snow effect the taste of the kiwi. What is she thinking about. She doesn’t even acknowledge the snow. The woman then enters a fruit shop where she buys more kiwis. Why does she need these Kiwis are they the only things she can’t eat? Maybe she makes kiwi jam. We will never know why this woman had that bunch of kiwis on that snowy day.

First post

My name is Theodora Smith-Miller; I was named after my grandfather Theodore. I have never really liked my name very much. I have lived in New York City my whole life. I have a twin sister. We both have dyslexia. We went to school with each other up until high school. She went on to a high school where they didn’t focus on her dyslexia. At one point in my life, I got really into skateboarding and longboarding and I got sponsored by original skateboards. I try to go out and skateboard every day even if I have lost some of the skill.