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By Jonathan Wisenthal et al. (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0802088015

ISBN-13: 9780802088017

Best referred to as the tale from the 1904 Puccini opera, the compelling sleek 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 interesting collaborative quantity examines the Madame Butterfly narrative in a large choice of cultural contexts - literary, musical, theatrical, cinematic, historic, and political - and in various media - opera, drama, movie, and prose narratives - and comprises contributions from a variety of educational disciplines, resembling 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 gentle again at the nature of the connection among East and West, final renowned in its unique model in addition to in retellings corresponding to David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly and David Cronenberg's monitor version. The mixed views that end result from this collaboration offer new and not easy insights into the strong, resonant delusion of a painful stumble upon among East and West.

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

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13 Illica and Giacosa had in fact written such a scene, in an act of Madama Butterfly that was deleted at Puccini’s insistence during the composition of the 18 Jonathan Wisenthal opera; manuscript versions surfaced a few years ago in Milan. S. ’ 15 In the Cronenberg film this bit of Western mechanism is very evident in the suicide scene. In the text of the Hwang play the music ‘blares over the speakers’ (see Hwang 93), but in his opening speech Gallimard refers to the contents of his cell: ‘I’m responsible for the tape recorder, the hot plate, and this charming coffee table’ (Hwang 2), and in scene 3 in the first act ‘He turns on his tape recorder.

18 Even Pinkerton comes in for whitewashing. William Ashbrook writes: ‘If [Pinkerton] is made totally crass, completely selfish, then Butterfly’s devotion becomes incomprehensible ... ’21 Along the way, he defends Puccini’s taste for ‘tragic little women’ and for the exoticism that serves merely to spark his imagination. K. Holland explains how stupid it would be to pursue such a critique, even though he freely acknowledges the sordidness of the story. With friends like this, Puccini scarcely needs enemies.

23 Ma, The Modern Madame Butterfly and Kondo, ‘M. 2 (1993): 91–104. A useful summary of the controversy appeared in Denise Hamilton, ‘Zorn’s “Garden” Sprouts Discontent,’ Los Angeles Times, Calendar section, 15 August 1994: 9. 25 Film historian Nick Browne argues along similar lines in his remarkable study of the spate of silent films based on the story of ‘Madame Butterfly,’ which gained cultural prestige through their connections to the opera. ’ 26 See Treitler 23–45, who regards the discussion of gender and racial stereotypes in music as responsible for these pernicious binarisms.

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A Vision of the Orient: Texts, Intertexts, and Contexts of Madame Butterfly by Jonathan Wisenthal et al. (eds.)


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