M. Butterfly

David Henry Hwang

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M. Butterfly

M Butterfly Based on a true story that stunned the world M Butterfly opens in the cramped prison cell where diplomat Rene Gallimard is being held captive by the French government and by his own illusions In the

  • Title: M. Butterfly
  • Author: David Henry Hwang
  • ISBN: 9780452272590
  • Page: 321
  • Format: Paperback
  • Based on a true story that stunned the world, M Butterfly opens in the cramped prison cell where diplomat Rene Gallimard is being held captive by the French government and by his own illusions In the darkness of his cell he recalls a time when desire seemed to give him wings A time when Song Liling, the beautiful Chinese diva, touched him with a love as vivid, as seduBased on a true story that stunned the world, M Butterfly opens in the cramped prison cell where diplomat Rene Gallimard is being held captive by the French government and by his own illusions In the darkness of his cell he recalls a time when desire seemed to give him wings A time when Song Liling, the beautiful Chinese diva, touched him with a love as vivid, as seductive and as elusive as a butterfly.How could he have known, then, that his ideal woman was, in fact, a spy for the Chinese government and a man disguised as a woman In a series of flashbacks, the diplomat relives the twenty year affair from the temptation to the seduction, from its consummation to the scandal that ultimately consumed them both But in the end, there remains only one truth Whether or not Gallimard s passion was a flight of fancy, it sparked the most vigorous emotions of his life.Only in real life could love become so unreal And only in such a dramatic tour de force do we learn how a fantasy can become a man s mistress as well as his jailer M Butterfly is one of the most compelling, explosive, and slyly humorous dramas ever to light the Broadway stage, a work of unrivaled brilliance, illuminating the conflict between men and women, the differences between East and West, racial stereotypes and the shadows we cast around our most cherished illusions.

    • Free Read [Humor and Comedy Book] ☆ M. Butterfly - by David Henry Hwang ✓
      321 David Henry Hwang
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Humor and Comedy Book] ☆ M. Butterfly - by David Henry Hwang ✓
      Posted by:David Henry Hwang
      Published :2018-08-01T19:05:14+00:00

    One thought on “M. Butterfly

    1. Ivonne Rovira on said:

      David Henry Hwang’s masterpiece must be heard to be appreciated — no mere reading of the script can do it justice. Nor can David Cronenburg’s film version provide a substitute. With all of the political overtones stripped away, the film M. Butterfly becomes just another of the freak shows for which Cronenburg is so well known.At its heart, Hwang’s original play reveals how the hubris and ignorance of the West and its preference for the comforting lies of Orientalism over a reality too ha [...]

    2. Thomas on said:

      A play based on a true story about a French diplomat who falls in love with a Chinese actress, only to realize that his exotic butterfly also identifies as male. Hwang's story highlights the beginning, middle, and end of Gallimard's descent through Song's seduction and how his appetite for dominance blinds him from the truth in front of his own two eyes. Though Gallimard earns little respect in this play, we see how he falls victim to the stereotypes assigned to men and to women, to the East and [...]

    3. Jordan on said:

      Your telling me he didn't know he was sleeping with a man for 20 years. Come on! Denial is not a river in Egypt!.

    4. Ceilidh on said:

      White male privilege will fuck you up!There are a couple awkward lines and sometimes it feels like Hwang is being far too obvious with the themes of the play, not letting the audience work them out for themselves, but overall, M Butterfly is a fascinating study of racial and gender stereotypes in an East vs West battle of sorts. It's also an interesting puzzle to work out, with both leads providing their subjective view-points of events, distorting the truth to show the fantasies they had create [...]

    5. Jesse Field on said:

      Song Liling: Under the robes, beneath everything, it was always me. Tell me you adore me.Rene Gallimard: How could you, who understood me so well, make such a mistake? You've shown me your true self, and what I love was the lie, perfect lie, that's been destroyed.Song Liling: You never really loved me.Rene Gallimard: I'm a man who loved a woman created by a man. Anything else simply falls short. A. and I made it to the Guthrie's 2010 production of M. Butterfly just one day before it closed, and [...]

    6. Saxon on said:

      French spy falls in love with a Chinese opera singer only to discover over twenty-years later that she is a man? Um. yes.However, things do get a little more serious than thatnd of. M.Butterfly spends a majority of the time focusing on the Western stereotypical perceptions of "the far east" and how that can have an effect in various levels of society. However, Hwang also touches on a number of issues including Asian perceptions of the West and of course gender biases and the stereotypical ideals [...]

    7. Aubrey on said:

      Now here's a play with depth. Here you have your racial stereotypes, your political stereotypes, your gender stereotypes, all coupled in a massive sexual stereotyping for the ages. A misunderstanding so great and maintained for so long requires a massive amount of explanation, an intro to which the playwright has thankfully provided us at the end of his work. The language was a bit coarse for my tastes, so my rating originally wasn't five stars. But the amount of thought and discussion this piec [...]

    8. Mercutio on said:

      If you read this book, and the most insightful thing you can think to add is yet another slack-jawed junkslut "BUT HOW ARE HE NOT KNOW IT MAN?! Peyniss!", then pleaseGo fucking die somewhere quiet. Or go read Twilight with the rest of your age/reading comprehension group. Or maybe, "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight" might be more your speed.

    9. Sarah on said:

      This one really confounded me. It details a man having an affair with an opera singer. The catch? The singer is really a man posing as a woman. Now I don't care how dark it is in the bedroom, wouldn't you think the dude would notice the bonus appendage?

    10. James on said:

      This was hilarious to read as an undergrad freshman in a general requirement english class. A great work which some people apparently can't handle.

    11. Sara on said:

      I really loved this play. The structure is interesting and the speeches well written. The plot itself is fascinating, and the relationships between the characters are deep and unusual. To quote the playwright's notes and the New York Times, May 11, 1986: "A former French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer have been sentenced to six years in jail for spying for China after a two-day trial that traced a story of clandestine love and mistaken sexual identity. Mr. Bouriscot was accused of passing i [...]

    12. Farheen on said:

      Poignant and full of unexpected twists. Very beautifully written but just not my cup of tea. I did however, become very attached to the characters and felt their trauma. Would definitely recommend!

    13. Manny on said:

      There's this interesting sequence in Stephen Fry's The Liar, when the hero, who I think is about 18, is having a frank discussion about sex with another character. He talks about the stuff he used to do with his girlfriend, and is surprised to discover that the other guy finds it weird. It hadn't occurred to him that anyone might think it was bizarre to spread jam and cooking fat over your lover's body and then chase each other naked through the school's corridors. Though, on reflection, it was [...]

    14. stuti on said:

      so my roommate read this play for class and referenced it a couple times, and as soon as she explained what it was i was intrigued. also, it's my favorite professor's favorite play. so i borrowed my roommates copy and i swear i flew through it so fast. it's a really short play (i'd love to see it performed), but it has so much nuance. the concept itself is fascinating, i can't believe it's somewhat based on real events,, but also how it is handled thematically is really thought-provoking!! there [...]

    15. William on said:

      When I first heard of this play, I initially confused it with Madame Butterfly by Puccini (which I had read), and dismissed it as another reprise of the racist, misogynistic play that is Madame Butterfly. I could not have been more wrong.I read this text thanks in part to my Asian American Theater and Performance class, and I am so grateful that I picked up this incredible play as a result.The play reads as an incisive, intersectional critique along the lines of race, gender, gender presentation [...]

    16. Maraeli on said:

      It was entertaining - certainly juicy. Funny isn't quite the right word to use, so I'll settle for amusing. I read this for an English assignment, and while I enjoyed it all the way through, it was too short for you to fully understand what happened between Song and Gallimard and their governments. I do, however, want to see this on Broadway.

    17. Jonathan on said:

      What's sad is that this play is nearly thirty years old, and yet much of what it has to say about Western perception of the East still holds true.

    18. Elisa on said:

      The story of M. Butterfly is a convoluted one. It acts as a political satire, a commentary on racial stereotypes, and also offers insight on gender identity in modern society. Unfortunately, the author, David Henry Hwang, never fully succeeds in giving the reader a real sense of any of these issues. The most developed topic is that of the racial and cultural roles his characters are expected to play, but even in this, Hwang barely scratches the surface. It seems though, that perhaps it was never [...]

    19. S. G. R. on said:

      Before partially reading Hwang's afterword, and flinging the book across the room in disgust, I thought the semi-botched ending of this otherwise wonderful play was the result of a green playwright being misled by his cleverness into too-strict a parallel between his inspiration - the original Madam Butterfly - and his creation - or, perhaps, that pernicious tendency of writers to equate misery with high seriousness and quality. After, I realized that the power of the three fourths of the play w [...]

    20. Ana Mardoll on said:

      M. Butterfly / 0-822-20712-5No doubt you've heard the story of the man who was married to another man, but claimed to have mistakenly thought that his "wife" was a woman. In this incredible drama, Hwang takes this real life story, often distilled into a joke or a bit of trivia, and creates a compelling drama. He refuses easy answers here, noting that the thing people *really* want to ask is "Did he or didn't he know?" The novelty of the situation shocks us, and we want to hear the details - part [...]

    21. Derek on said:

      An enigmatic and rich retelling of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly twists identity (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, etc.) so thoroughly that the reader/viewer is left with far more questions than answers, but still a quite clear sense of the characters and their individual failings. The play is notable, of course, for the bizarre but true story on which it is based, but it's doing much more than relying on a cheap ripped-from-the-headlines exploitation. Hw [...]

    22. Kaion on said:

      The frequency of the author monologuing would be tiresome enough, even if the discourse went deeper than "the masculine West seeks the image of the submissive feminine East". In general, there's a general literalness in Hwang's writing (SARCASM!) that keeps the potential pathos from registering, but it's likely the execution of the humor and the other performance aspects (singing, staging, etc.) probably contribute a lot to the stage play in a way that is not necessarily evident on the page.As a [...]

    23. tomwrote on said:

      A bizarre but simple question; 'How could he not know?' with a simple but complex answer; he didn't want to and he didn't want him to. And for so long? Well what they did on one night they might have done for a thousand nights, with only skilful variations. The play also makes much more of the question of illusion, assumption, desire and deceit than mechanics in any case. The sex, for all the scandal it brought, was only a part of it. The playwright frequently makes the link between sex as power [...]

    24. ELIZABETH-ANNE on said:

      Most people I talk to when discussing a book/play that has been made into a film, will invariably say to me ' the book was better'. I don't know if people have said this about M Butterfly, but if they said it, I don't agree. Had I read this before I saw the film with Jeremy Irons, I most likely would not have even finished it. I would have preferred it as a novel or a biography, not a play.The film is wonderful, and the customs fantastic and colorful. The play is a dull gray in comparison.

    25. Didem on said:

      By far one of the most amazing American plays I've read. Not only an observant commentary on the prejudices and presumptions of the West about the East but serves as a story of identity and self-realization as well. His dialogues are alive and sincere. The narrative reminds that of a short story making it no less interesting to read at all.

    26. Molly on said:

      I have difficulty believing that this is, more or less, a true story, but everything I've been able to find seems to corroborate that claim. That being said, this is hilarious and a very entertaining read.

    27. Becky on said:

      What a ridiculous amount of stereotypes, judgement, and deceit. The audio with John Lithgow and BD Wong was an astounding work of art even if the story isn't getting as much praise from me. It's such an English class play with theme for days, and that gets to be a bit much for me.

    28. ren on said:

      This play doesn't fail to surprise me by how much social criticism can be made and political significance can be had in such a short work. And it's also extremely enjoyable to read. I love every bit of it!

    29. Morgan M. Page on said:

      I mean, who hasn't found themselves in a deep stealth relationship with a well-placed foreigner and turned to espionage? It's a good look.

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