By Jonathan Wisenthal et al. (eds.)
Best referred to as the tale from the 1904 Puccini opera, the compelling smooth fantasy of Madame Butterfly has been learn, watched, and re-interpreted for over a century, from Pierre Loti's 1887 novel Madame Chrysanthème to A.R. Gurney's 1999 play Far East. This attention-grabbing collaborative quantity examines the Madame Butterfly narrative in a wide selection of cultural contexts - literary, musical, theatrical, cinematic, old, and political - and in a number of media - opera, drama, movie, and prose narratives - and comprises contributions from quite a lot of educational disciplines, akin to Asian experiences, English Literature, Theatre, Musicology, and picture Studies.
From its unique colonial beginnings, the Butterfly tale has been grew to become approximately and inverted lately to shed mild again at the nature of the connection among East and West, ultimate renowned in its unique model in addition to in retellings akin to David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly and David Cronenberg's reveal model. The mixed views that end result from this collaboration supply new and difficult insights into the robust, resonant delusion of a painful come upon among East and West.
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Extra resources for A Vision of the Orient: Texts, Intertexts, and Contexts of Madame Butterfly
2 An interrogation of this contradiction and of the verisimilitude of Butterfly’s dramatic behaviour would have normally diminished the credibility of the story, yet despite such flaws, critics and audiences alike are still swept away by the ominous tragedy that, like any myth, seems beyond the need for questioning. On a woodblock print of a geisha from circa 1900 is inscribed the text Cio-Cio-San the Geisha 37 of a ‘kouta’ – a song usually sung by a geisha accompanied by the shamisen3 – which reads: ‘Parting, regretting, reuniting again.
A geisha belonged to a special category of female entertainer allowed to work in tea-houses and other designated entertainment areas, populated also by various other categories of entertainers, such as prostitutes and courtesans. Described as early as the 1750s as ‘good at playing the shamisen and singing’ (Seigle, Yoshiwara 172), they were recognized as of 1779 as practising a distinct profession, and achieved a professional status as entertainers (ibid. 174). Eventually they had to register with the government to get a licence; their wages were standardized, and they had to pay taxes (Dalby 66–7).
There is bitter irony in Pinkerton’s drinking a toast to a real marriage with a real American wife, just as Goro comes hurrying in to announce Butterfly’s imminent arrival. Seeing this side of Pinkerton, we realize he is merely infatuated with Butterfly, but if we consider his words in the love duet as she hears them, then his ardent outbursts have a ring of sincerity. The plot does not, of course, contain the scene of Pinkerton’s departure from Butterfly, but we get her side of it. ” That Pinkerton is momentarily – if not like Butterfly, permanently – capable of real feeling comes across in his remorse as he learns the true nature of Butterfly’s attachment to him.
A Vision of the Orient: Texts, Intertexts, and Contexts of Madame Butterfly by Jonathan Wisenthal et al. (eds.)