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Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist” revolves around a hunger artist’s career, mainly focusing on how this individual starves himself for an audience, rather than a personal reason (being a disorder, religious purposes, or what has now become a popularized diet plan). While the plot of this story seems to be straightforward, there are many themes throughout […]

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This was my favorite story that we have read during this class, which is funny because it is one of the shortest and simplest pieces, yet I felt it was so deep and touched upon multiple points which I found interesting. The story was about a fat man who came into the restaurant this woman […]

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Franz Kafka is such a beautiful writer, and does such a phenomenal job of remaining distant whilst talking about such an emotionally deep situation. Before reading this short story I had never heard of professional/artistic fasting, I had only ever heard of spiritual and religious fasting and then on the complete other end of the […]

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Dehuminization in “Fat”

One of the aspects of “Fat,” by Raymond Carver that made an impression on me was the ways in which both the narrator and the patron of the restaurant seemed to be dehumanized by others throughout the story. The way Carver writes the descriptions of characters and their interactions seem cold and distant in a […]

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Carver does a remarkable job of inferring the connection between control in gender, as the beginning of the narrative starts out with the unidentified woman waitress asking her fat male customer “might I serve you?” as the fat customer replies that he is set to ORDER. Reading this surface level, the reader would consider this […]

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It is a known and accepted fact in the science of psychology that people’s relationships with food, particularly eating disorders, can relate directly to control. Often people diagnosed with disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia have suffered a certain amount of psychological or emotional distress at the events of their life, and when they turn […]

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In The Vegetarian by Han Kang, “Fat” by Raymond Carver, and “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka, most of the people suffering from obese or anorexia are tortured souls looking for something beyond themselves or their circumstances. Their actions concerning food represent how they seek out this greater existence. In The Vegetarian the woman wants […]

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In The Vegetarian, Han Kang deals with the extreme desires of Yeong-hye.  Yeong-hye becomes vegetarian, and by the end of the novel we learn that she wishes to become a tree.  Not only does she want to become a tree she believes she already is one.  She even stands on her head for hours at a […]

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In the story “Fat” by Raymond Carver, the waitress talks about a man who came into her restaurant. He is only referred to by his weight and the waitress makes a comment about his speech. “He has this way of speaking – strange, don’t you know” (Carver, 64). This is then dropped as if it […]

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Raymond Carver was an American writer of short stories of fiction. His style is recognized as being a part of an American literary movement which is called dirty realism. The definition of dirty realism is given by Buford in his explanatory introduction of Granta in 1983: Dirty Realism is the fiction of a new generation of […]

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Franz Kafka’s short story, “The Hunger Artist,” tells the story of a man who fasts professionally, first as a traveling act in towns, then in a circus.  Before he dies in the circus, he tells the overseer that he fasts not because he enjoys it, but because he can’t find any food he actually likes […]

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Hunger Artists

“A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka is a short story written in 1922 that tells the story of a professional hunger artist, or a performer who attracts spectators by refusing to eat any and all food for a specified amount of time.  It is speculated that Kafka was inspired by real life hunger artists, as […]

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Raymond Carver’s story “Fat” is a curious one from start to finish, both in plot and in writing style, but there is one element that stuck out to me particularly – the fat man referring to himself as “we.” Upon greeting the narrator, the man says, “I think we’re ready to order now” and the […]

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Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist” and Raymond Carver’s “Fat” demonstrate how society often defines people by their looks. In “A Hunger Artist”, public fasting is a popular activity, with many citizens traveling from all around the world to view the fasters in their cages as though they were zoo animals. In “Fat”, the opposite is […]

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I really enjoyed reading this novel, it had such a wonderful plot line and I think the narration style was incredible and unique. I want to talk about the ways in which becoming a vegetarian/vegan can be incredibly eye-opening, and yet can have such a detrimental impact on the way one views the world post lifestyle change. […]

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Thoughts on “The Vegetarian”

“The feeling that she had never really lived in this world caught her by surprise. It was a fact. She had never lived. Even as a child, as far back as she could remember, she had done nothing but endure. ― Han Kang, The Vegetarian In reading this novel, I immediately found the characterization of the women […]

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Point of View in The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian by Han Kang is a novel with more than one twist. Not only do we not read the book from the main character’s point of view, we read it from three separate narrators who all have a connection to the main character. The first point of view we read through is the husband […]

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The Vegetarian

Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is a book/three-novellas-in-one-volume about a woman who becomes vegan in the aftermath of some strange, macabre dream and wastes away to nothing in an attempt to become a tree.  I think the novel is making a statement about the role of women in Korean society and the familial power structure, something […]

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Response to The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian by Han Kang is a small novel with a disproportionately large load of controversy.  The translator who helped create the English version of the novel, Deborah Smith, had only begun to learn Korean six years prior to her work on The Vegetarian, and many reviewers who were familiar with the original language were surprised […]

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Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was translated into English in 2015, bringing about a lot of criticism regarding the translation. The translator, Deborah Smith, made many changes (and some errors) when translating the work from Korean to English. One of the most notable changes was that of the novel’s opening sentence. Originally, Yeong-hye’s husband stated that […]

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In a 2018 review of The Vegetarian, Jiayang Fan brings to light the challenges of translating books from the language in which they were written. At one point in the article, she mentions, “But her writing, too, is rooted in in Korea’s history. This, according to Charse Yun, is what risks getting lost in translation.” […]

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Violence in “The Vegetarian”

Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is a three-part novella that shatters Western culture’s ideas of what literature should look like; this haunting account of a woman’s choice to become vegetarian is told through every viewpoint but her own. The first installation is written in the first person point-of-view of her husband, the second through the third […]

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“Every country has serious problems, so to keep those problems from spreading all around the world, they decided that each country should solve its own problems by itself.” This concept was so interesting to me and I really wanted to focus on it in today’s blog post. I feel that I talk about politics far […]

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In Yoko Tawada’s novel The Emissary, the concept of a dystopian Tokyo is explored through the eyes of an elderly survivor, Yoshiro, and his great-grandson, Mumei. In reading this book, it impressed me how Tawada’s description of a crumbled society, although pushed to the extreme, seems have real ties to the concerns of modern day Japanese […]

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While reading this novel, I couldn’t help but compare how similar the environments of both this one and The Giver were. What makes this novel a distinctive piece is the focus of language, imagining how language can be warped in extreme social circumstances, resulting in the use of s certain use of language to be more […]

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