A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka

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In "A Hunger Artist," how does Kafka describe the changing relationship between the artist and the audience?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Kafka's work details a very peculiar and paradoxical relationship between the artist and the audience.  On one hand, the artist believes in the intrinsic value of what he does.  His fasts, the meticulous attention paid to them, and to make sure that there is rigor involved becomes critically important to him.  The artist disparages his audience for not adhering to this level of attention and scrutiny in his work.  This lack of appreciation might create a barrier between the artist and the audience.  Yet, the paradox is that the artist needs his audience and is willing to do anything for them to hold their interest.  When he is taken into the circus, he believes he can hold out and fast for longer than 40 days.  The artist is depicted as one who asserts their own identity outside of the audience, but is also one linked to them for it is through their validation that there is total satisfaction.  The artist understands...

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