To: Earl Jackson, Jr.
Re: M. Butterfly
McLaren in all of this?
It just occurred to me that when I finished reading M Butterfly I thought,
„How interesting that it should be the man who turns out to be Butterfly
in this version.“ Of course it’s the man. They’re both men. What a queer
thought for me to have. I suppose that this proves your point, that the
western mind sees the Oriental as female, regardless of sex. I don’t like
to think that this is the case. I hope that I might be forgiven on the
grounds that Song is self-gendered as female throughout the majority of
the play. But perhaps I’m just a mindless dupe
of my culture.
I’m quite puzzled by your assertion in class today that Gallimard refuses
to see Song’s penis:
|(He is down to his briefs)
GALLIMARD: Please. This is unnecessary.
SONG: Do you? What am I?
GALLIMARD: A–a man.
SONG: You don’t really believe that.
GALLIMARD: Yes I do! I knew all the time
SONG: Monsieur Gallimard–the wait is over.
Song drops his briefs. He is naked….
GALLIMARD: Oh god! What an idiot! Of
GALLIMARD: Look at you! You’re a man!Ý
Where in this scene does Gallimard refuse to see the penis? I do not
remember whether Jeremy Irons sees the penis or not (I too found the film
extremely forgettable), and I have not seen the play, but reading it gives
me no impression that Gallimard fails to recognize the penis.Ý
Am I somehow blind to the obvious where butterflies are concerned? As
Regardless of whether anyone dies or not, I think that the play works
|Fascinating reading this week, which did, in fact, make your thesis
regarding the east/west gender issue much easier to understand.
|[ M. Butterfly 87-88]|