M. Butterfly: With an Afterword by the Playwright

by David Henry Hwang | Plays & Scripts |
ISBN: 0452272599 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingKateKintailwing of Burke, Virginia USA on 6/19/2015
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, June 19, 2015
Bought this at a library used book sale.

Journal Entry 2 by wingKateKintailwing at Burke, Virginia USA on Sunday, June 28, 2015
I started reading this book years and years ago, but I had a hard time getting into it. I was pretty sure I'd seen the movie on LOGO at some point, so I knew the basic story, even though I wasn't familiar with the original "Madam Butterfly" opera. However, I still had a hard time getting a good sense of this play just by reading it. There were some times I felt a little lost and definitely would have preferred watching it rather than reading it.

This is the story of Rene Gallimard, a French officer, and Song Liliang, an actress. But Song isn't just any actress--she's actually a man disguised as a woman in order to be a spy for the Chinese government. Gillimard falls for Song, not knowing her secrets. Their relationship lasts 22 years and goes deeper than anyone intended, to the point where he not only leaves his wife but is so infatuated with the idea of M. Butterfly, he can't live his own life any more. Not only is this the story of a man in love with his fantasies, it's also a fascinating exploration of the views that people of the East and West have of each other and how their sterotypes affect their relations, desires, political motives, and private lives.

In the end it definitely drew me in. I knew it couldn't possibly end in anything but a tragedy, but I still rooted for love to win out in the end. This play made me wonder how true the love in this story was.

I'm glad to finally have finished this. And I really enjoyed the author's notes at the end. I'm considering trying to track down a version (I think it's only available on audio) of the original with John Lithgow and B.D. Wong; I've listened to some of the bits available online and it sounds great.

Journal Entry 3 by wingKateKintailwing at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, June 28, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (6/29/2015 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Adding to my LGBTQIA Bookbox so it can find a new reader. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 06, 2015
I'm claiming this from the bookbox, as it's another story that I've found fascinating, but have yet to read the original play. [I enjoyed the 1993 film, and would like to see a stage version some time.]

Later: I read this on the plane during a recent trip to Texas, and found it both funny and quite dark - at least as I interpreted the main characters' motivations from the bits we're given. I felt that Gallimard came off as both pathetic and patronizing, and Song... well, Song was often hilarious. When Comrade Chin cautions Song that "you represent our Chairman Mao in every position you take," Song retorts "I'll try to imagine the Chairman taking my positions." Hee!

I did find it hard to really sympathize with either main character, Gallimard because of his obsession with supposedly-submissive "Oriental Woman" and Song because of his eminently practical but rather cold-hearted attitude, but I did enjoy reading the play.

[There's a TV Tropes page on the play and the film.]

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Allan Shivers Library in Woodville, Texas USA on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (7/17/2015 UTC) at Allan Shivers Library in Woodville, Texas USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book outside the Allan Shivers Library and Museum in Woodville Texas; hope the finder enjoys it!

*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2015 Allergic to A challenge. ***

*** Released as part of the 2015 Movie release challenge. ***

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