HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 19 no. 2 (2018)

HOW WOULD MARX APPROACH THE ALIENATION OF KAFKA’S “THE HUNGER ARTIST?”

Ufuk Ozen Baykent

 

Abstract:

This paper deals with the concept of alienation which is present in Kafka’s writings. “The Hunger Artist” is one of the best known and most discussed stories written by Kafka which displays the theme of alienation. The paper argues that alienation is a concept which originated in the philosophical discussions proposed by Hegel and which went through changes and started to be contextualised from a sociological perspective by Marx. The paper suggests that the short story entitled “The Hunger Artist” displays the artist’s alienation which can be compared with the conceptualisations made by Marx. In order to examine this relation firstly, Kafka as an artist with the striking themes and style of his writings is covered deeply. Then, the concept of alienation as discussed by Marx is examined. The final section is spared for establishing a bridge between Marxist theory of alienation and Kafka as can be observed in “The Hunger Artist.”