Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair(s)

Adena Rivera-Dundas


Adena Rivera-Dundas


Dustin Crawford


Benjamin Gunsberg


In this project, I began by arguing that the 2009 to 2014 manga series Aku No Hana by author and artist Shūzō Oshimi should be considered an unconventional adaptation of the 19th century collection of poems Les Fleurs Du Mal by French poet Charles Baudelaire. I then turned my analysis to the practice of adaptation more broadly, using desire, a central theme to both of my chosen primary texts, as my lens through which I examined some of the central complexities and paradoxes inherent to adaptation, such as the simultaneous expectation of textual faith and a new authorial vision. I then argued that adaptation should be considered an expression of desire, and that through an analysis of how desire functions within Aku No Hana and Les Fleurs Du Mal, additional insights about the practice of desire would also be revealed. Rather than outright stating my conclusions about the relationship between the texts, desire and adaptation, this project instead adopted an unconventional form, deviating from a more traditional literary analysis. This form drew from two concepts central to my discussion of these texts and their relationship with desire (Desire Paths and Baudelaire’s descriptions of the Flâneur),

and presented as an intentional wandering through not only Aku No Hana and Les Fleurs Du Mal, but also discussions of theory, the surrounding context of the two texts, and explorations of works relevant to discussions of adaptation. At the end of this wandering, I concluded that by considering adaptation as an expression of desire, we are able to depend less on textual faith when adapting art and instead more fully consider the desires of all relevant parties (authors, adapters, audiences, etc.) in order to produce an adaptation that is more successful and fulfilling for those involved. Additionally, I argued that Aku No Hana exemplifies this practice of moving away from textual faith and instead towards a more successful adaptation through its unconventional adaptation of Les Fleurs Du Mal.