Wieczna kobiecość i emancypacja kobiet: obraz kobiecości w twórczości Karoliny Světlej

Fournier Kiss, Corinne (2016). Wieczna kobiecość i emancypacja kobiet: obraz kobiecości w twórczości Karoliny Světlej. Wiek XIX. Rocznik Towarzystwa Literackiego im. Adama Mickiewicza, pp. 269-278. 10.18318/wiekxix.2016.15

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It is no coincidence if the expression coined by Goethe of the "Eternal Feminine" is contemporary to the Western attempts of female emancipation. At the very moment when the model of a woman existing only in dependance on a man begins to be called into question, the category of the Eternal Feminine helps to reaffirm this model while investing it with positive values. It is the nature of women to be submissive and devoted, and these qualities make her the depositary par excellence of any potential saving grace. Thus, in Goethe's Faust, il falls to Margaret, a naive, innocent and uneducated girl, devoid of any proper will, to redeem Faust by the force of her love. Everything happens as if the positive codification of the nature of the women in the category of the Eternal Feminine was only intended to better conceal the reality of their oppression, and feminists are not taken in by it : the ideals advocated by the Eternal Feminine are a priori incompatible with the emancipation of women.

Karolina Světlá, one of the greatest figures in the struggle for equal rights of men and women in Bohemia in the nineteenth century, has recourse nevertheless extensively in her literary work to this model of a woman who sacrifices herself for a beloved man. Would her theoretical texts and her activities in favor of the emancipation of women perhaps be in contradiction with her literary texts, which at first sight seem to be so conventional? In this paper I aim to answer this question with the help of a careful reading of one of her most Faustian tales, "The Black Mullein".

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Fournier Kiss, Corinne


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 840 French & related literatures
400 Language > 440 French & related languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 830 German & related literatures
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 890 Other literatures






Corinne Ingrid Fournier Kiss

Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2014 15:18

Last Modified:

28 Dec 2020 07:23

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Czech literature, Eternal Feminine, feminism, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Karolina Světlá, women’s emancipation





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