Deconstructing Goethe’s Faust and Faustine in a Manga (77002)

Session Information: Gender in Literature
Session Chair: Kyung Lee Gagum

Sunday, 26 May 2024 12:15
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 705
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Manga addressing a wide assortment of assigned gender topoi appear in the manga genre to challenge not only assigned conventional gender-role, but also to offer a space for critical reflection. In this paper, I argue that Kore Yamazaki’s Frau Faust (2017) serves as a transmodern fairy tale retelling of the Faustian legend that challenges and engages in a critical gender roles and gender boundaries dialogue. Rather than taking a feminist approach of empowering female protagonist or writer and disrupting traditional patriarchy, I argue that queer theory offers a new perspective to deconstruct the essentialist male-female binary opposition. Yamazaki’s female Faust in her five-volume manga series lends itself to an analysis applying through a queer theory lens because her version challenges and stands at odds to the legitimacy and the dominant male Faustian legend. Yamazaki’s Faust displays fluid gender possibilities, which is best analyzed and understood by applying Diane Richard’s (2009) argument that queer theory is “a fluid, mobile, non-specific zone of inquiry that is resistant to being ‘fixed’” (p.20). Especially considering the queer theorist Julie Nagoshi’s (2010) argument that once the male sex is feminized, all men can be feminized, thus breaking the hierarchy of the traditionally clear distinction between the superior male and the inferior female. Thus, Yamazaki’s Faust is neither the legendary male Faust, who seeks self-fulfillment for his search for knowledge nor the transfigured Gretchen, who teaches Faust to atone his sins for forgiveness, but a polyvalent subject of queer theory surpassing societal mandated gender positions.

Kyung Lee Gagum, Midwestern State University Texas, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Kyung Lee Gagum is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Midwestern State University Texas in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00