“Because I have to fast, I can’t help it,” said the hunger artist. “What a fellow you are,” said the overseer, “and why can’t you help it?” “Because,” said the hunger artist, lifting his head a little and speaking, with his lips pursed, as if for a kiss, right into the overseer’s ear, so that no syllable might be lost, “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.” -Franz Kafka, Ein Hungerkünstler
FIRST PRINTING IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS.
“One of the most highly regarded literary and cultural journals in the German language, Die neue Rundschau, which is still published today, first appeared in 1890. In Kafka’s time it was the major periodical publication of one of the leading German literary presses… it published literary works by some of the most significant authors of the time, including Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke. Kafka was a regular reader of Die neue Rundschau throughout his life.” After Kafka’s submission of “Die Verwandlung” (“The Metamorphosis”) was rejected due to its inordinate length, “Kafka was disappointed not to be able to count himself among the authors represented by this respected journal. However he did eventually join their ranks in October 1922, when the story “Ein Hungerkünstler” (“A Hunger Artist”) appeared here...”
Kafka "indirectly lifted this piece to significant stature in his oeuvre by exempting it from the wish of annihilation that he had decreed for most of his other works. In addition, he chose it as the title story for the last volume of stories that he was able to oversee” (Richard T. Gray, A Franz Kafka Encyclopedia).
IN: Die Neue Rundschau, Vol. XXXIII, Band 2, pp. 983-992. Berlin and Leipzig: S. Fischer Verlag, October 1922, pp. 961-1056. Tall octavo, original wrappers; custom silk box. Slight lean to spine; a touch of dampstaining to extreme edge of text block (well away from text). Rare in original wrappers.
Price: $2,200 .