[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":

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]

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!..


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]

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

“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.”


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