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Performing Hunger: Fasting in Franz Kafka’s Hunger Artist as Poetic Practice

  • Sabine Wilke
  • Cora L. Wilke-Gray
Chapter
  • 418 Downloads
Part of the Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment book series (LCE)

Abstract

This chapter builds on material ecocriticism to include poetic issues that frame the entanglement of food and consumption as an ensemble of critical practices in literature. We interpret the economic and semiotic system of capitalism as a cultural phenomenon. On the example of Franz Kafka’s short story “A Hunger Artist” (1924), we show how poetic texts explore themes, places, cultures, and identities through a variety of techniques that are tied to figurative language. With its roots in modernist poetics, Kafka’s text reflects the cultural practice of fasting as an artistic performance on the thematic level and, at the same time, enacts the disruption of consumptive patterns through fasting on the level of poetic meaning.

Keywords

Food System Literary Text Semiotic System Figurative Language Critical Practice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Wilke
    • 1
  • Cora L. Wilke-Gray
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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