[*chrysalis, also known as aurelia or nympha, is the pupal stage of butterflies. The term is derived from the metallic gold-coloration found in the pupae of many butterflies, referred to by the Greek term chrysós for gold.]
Facebook on 21 June 2012:
Julie O’Yang shared the following link to say goodnight to friends, which led to discussions and questions that surprised me and left me with an ever-thankful heart.
Regina Scotti: I adore this music, as a matter of fact most Asian music. Thank you, Julie! Shared…
Regina Scotti: I read your book, Butterfly, in a couple of days sitting on my deck amongst my flowers and dogs. The weather was gorgeous, so it made the love story all the more enjoyable. But I never quite figured out if the doctor was hallucinating and that maybe this fantasy didn’t really happen? Any answers??????? It was beautifully written and so poetic. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
Julie O’yang: Regina, first of all, my kisses through this digital veil and wall, which is nevertheless valid and true. Speaking of real and true? I think perspective is important when we determine what is real and true. Perspective is connected to probability because so often our conclusions are completely incongruous with the facts. Albert Einstein said: “A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” I’m drifting, though I am not at all trying to avoid to answer your question about my novel. The key is hidden in the ancient story which I included at the end: Zhuang Zi was dreaming of a butterfly, and when he awoke, he wondered whether it was a man dreaming of becoming a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming of becoming a man. This is a story written for me in the 4th century BC! The first time I read it — I was seven — I thought I was Zhuang Zi’s dream…
Julie O’yang: Further I would like to refer to “Of Love and Other Demons” by Gabriel García Márquez. In Of Love and Other Demons, people were convinced that some people died because a rapid dog bit them. In the same way, people were sure that the gray dog that bit Sierva Maria was the same dog that had rabies. No account of the number of gray dogs in the town was done. A question we would ask is: What is the probability that the gray dog that bit Sierva María was the same dog that had rabies? Another good question is: How certain are we that this certain dog had rabies?
Just how sure are we? That seems to be our only certainty.
Julie O’yang: Thank you. I would love to continue this discussion.
Julie O’yang: <Corr: Speaking of real and true? >>> ? = . >
Regina Scotti: That clarifies it for me. It’s all in how I perceive it, whether true or the hallucination of the young Dr. Raigan. So, the ambivalence is key to the story. As you said it’s based on an ancient “fairy-tale” of sorts and totally open to interpretation. So I guess I must try to define the way I saw it, which is probably ambivalent in itself. Thank you anyway. And I always enjoy your posts, even in other languages, several of which I almost understand! ;o) And please continue sharing whatever Asian music that you have. I love it and can play it over and over. xxxooo
Julie O’yang: The Sino-Japanese War (1931-1945) has become/is a landmark on the map of identity politics in Asia. Bearing this history in mind — history not being conceived as a common experience by the nations — leads to a disturbing development: old wounds over new wounds in a globalised economy. For me and my novel, ambivalence is not only a literary instrument, it may serve as adaptive function. For doctor Reigan, my male lead who seeks a cure, ambivalence is the cure and HOPE. History then becomes a dark fairytale, and hopefully will help us to develop an attitude to understand.
Julie O’yang: Regina, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to elaborate the subject as well as my intention as a novelist xoxo
Thank you very much indeed, my dear reader!!! I would like to close my blog post with these words: Children don’t read to find their identity, to free themselves from guilt, to quench the thirst for rebellion or to get rid of alienation. They have no use for psychology….They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff. When a book is boring, they yawn openly. They don’t expect their writer to redeem humanity, but leave to adults such childish illusions. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.