Departmental Bulletin Paper 安部公房『他人の顔』論 : 自己疎外と加工された顔
A Study of Kobo Abe’s “The Face of Another” : Self-alienation and Processed Face
アベ コウボウ タニン ノ カオ ロン ジコ ソガイ ト カコウ サレタ カオ

片野, 智子

(24)  , pp.155 - 185 , 2015-10-01
“The Face of Another” is a story written by Kobo Abe in 1964. A man has lost his face and, with it, connection to other people. So he wants to create a mask that replaces his lost face――the face of another. The purpose of this study is to discuss what the face is and what role his mask plays. In the fi rst place, the face has three properties. The fi rst property is self- alienation. A number of studies on “The Face of Another” has proposed that his lost face is a metaphor of the problem that capitalist society causes――the loss of identity. In capitalist society, we human beings have lost “real” faces (a metaphor of identity). It is a problem of self-alienation. However, we cannot see our own faces without mirrors and facial expressions of other person. It is the most important problem of self-alienation. The second property is connection to spirit. In terms of the concept of “real” face, our faces are connected with our spirits. But the distinction between outside and inside (face,body and spirit) has made in contemporary times. The concept of “real” face is also the same. The third property is mutual.We cannot see our own faces, so we make our own images through other eyes. That is to say, the face is not a personal and natural phenomenon but a social and artifi cial phenomenon. It is a very important tool to communicate. For example, face-toface communication is more effective and trustworthy than other types of communication such as telephone or email. Some certifi cates require a photograph of face. However, his mask is the face of another. Such mask is more than a disguise because it is a new self that is capable of anything. His mask has the potential to make face-to-face communication useless――even destroy all kinds of communities. In future, because of development of cosmetic surgery, his mask will be realized. However,his wife penetrates his mask and criticizes him. She claims that we should communicate each other by means of our faces,on the other hand, he claims that we should wear masks such as his mask to overcome self-alienation. Even nowadays, it is aporia which opinion is correct.

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