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By Jonathan Wisenthal et al. (eds.)

Best referred to as the tale from the 1904 Puccini opera, the compelling sleek delusion 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 quite a few media - opera, drama, movie, and prose narratives - and comprises contributions from quite a lot of educational disciplines, similar to Asian reports, 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 gentle again at the nature of the connection among East and West, last renowned in its unique model in addition to in retellings resembling David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly and David Cronenberg's reveal version. The mixed views that end result from this collaboration supply new and hard insights into the strong, resonant fantasy of a painful come upon among East and West.

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Additional info for A Vision of the Orient: Texts, Intertexts, and Contexts of Madame Butterfly

Sample text

As virtually all commentators have observed, Puccini constructs Lieutenant Pinkerton as an unambiguous lout. Moreover, the other characters tell him he is a lout, and he eventually confesses his loutishness himself. He resorts to the most shameless expressions of American patriotism and even wraps himself in ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to legitimate his imperialist exploitation of the Japanese in general and Cio-CioSan in particular. If anything, we might urge our imaginary postcolonial artist to develop a more nuanced personality for Pinkerton so that her opera doesn’t come across as mere agit-prop, as the vengeful bashing of both men and the West.

A piece of evidence in the genesis of the Butterfly story that sheds doubts on the authenticity of Madame Butterfly’s past as geisha comes from the research of Arthur Groos, who has identified the actual characters in the allegedly real-life story reported to Long by his sister (who was living in Japan as a missionary at the time), on which his short story is based. According to Groos’s research, the model for Madame Butterfly was a tea-house girl who lived with a lover who deserted her and their child (there is no mention of a ‘temporary marriage’) (‘Butterfly’ 130).

Here the supporting harmony that has been in such short supply bears her up. Over a sombre B-flat minor chord, she pushes repeatedly up to that same G natural, then finally hurls herself up to her climactic concluding pitch on a high B-flat. ’ – I will conquer! I have undertaken my Borges experiment in order to consider more carefully some crucial debates circulating now concerning the interpretation of music. Until about fifteen years ago, musicologists rarely addressed the content of works.

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