“… the problem has come since the film.

So many people have completely misunderstood the story.

I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story

for readers to fill in from their own experience,

but unfortunately the audience that “Brokeback” reached

most strongly have powerful fantasy lives.

And one of the reasons we keep the gates locked here

is that a lot of men have decided that the story

should have had a happy ending.

They can’t bear the way it ends—

they just can’t stand it.

So they rewrite the story,

including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers

and so forth after Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild.

They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis.”


Annie Proulx on Brockback Mountain
The Paris Review




~ by eaesthete on 06/19/09.

2 Responses to “Overheard”

  1. Does Ms Proulx mean the story is about the larger issue of homophobia and the characters are incidental ? Never really thought of this as a gay love story. In my mind Ennis was a straight man who just happened to fall in love with Jack.

    • Hobac,

      Wonderful to hear from you. You do know you’re missed, I hope. Go over and look at Mrs. Blandings post:

      Precisely on the homophobic theme. In finishing the thought, what she said was:

      “It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re expecting me to say, oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write it that way. And they all begin the same way—I’m not gay, but . . . The implication is that because they’re men they understand much better than I how these people would have behaved. And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.”

      She was reacting to the storms of protest she received upon release of the film, particularly in places like Wyoming where the story is centered. Apparently people were so outraged, they refused to read the story the screenplay was based on. It’s obviously been a source of real agitation for her. If you click on The Paris Review, you can read more on the interview until you cannot … pay up time for the article, the issue, a subscription.

      Don’t be a stranger.

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