[lit-ideas] Madame Butterfly

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
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  • Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2015 16:26:38 -0400

"But if he don't [sic] come back, I just must die. Poor Butterfly."

"Madame Butterfly" is a short story by American lawyer John Luther Long.

It is based on the recollections of Long's sister, Jennie Correll, who had
been to Japan with her husband—a Methodist missionary,

In a message dated 9/4/2015 3:33:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx writes:
"Farfalla" is such a much prettier sound to me than the word "butterfly".

The Gnat reminds Alice that there's the bread-and-butterfly, too.

This reminds me of the third night Robinson Crusoe spent with Friday. He
taught him the duet in "Madama Butterfly":

Pinkerton
Dammi ch'io baci le tue mani care.
[bursts out very tenderly]
Mia Butterfly! come t'han ben nomata
tenue farfalla...
[at these words Butterfly's face clouds over and she withdraws her hands]

Butterfly
Dicon ch'oltre mare
se cade in man dell'uom,
[with an expression of fear]
ogni farfalla
da uno spillo è trafitta
[with anguish] ed in tavola infitta!..

Translation:

Pinkerton
Give me your darling hands that I may kiss them
[bursts out very tenderly]
My Butterfly! aptly your name was chosen,
Gossamer creation...
[at these words Butterfly's face clouds over and she withdraws her hands]

Butterfly
They say that in your country
If a butterfly
[with an expression of fear]
is caught by man,
He'll pierce its heart with a needle,
[with anguish] And then leave it to perish!

On the other hand, since we are talking language, there's the
bread-and-butterfly:

“Crawling at your feet,' said the Gnat (Alice drew her feet back in some
alarm), `you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin slices of
Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.'

And what does IT live on?'

Weak tea with cream in it.'

A new difficulty came into Alice's head. `Supposing it couldn't find any?'
she suggested.

Then it would die, of course.'

But that must happen very often,' Alice remarked thoughtfully.

It always happens,' said the Gnat.”

Cheers,

Speranza
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