Sunday, May 02, 2010

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx is not a novel and I am not sure why the publishers didn’t publish a collection of her works including this lovely and poetic short story rather than publishing as a single book.* (see note below) I had seen the movie and fallen in love with the story, heartbreaking as it is. I am impressed with how Proulx tells her story and appreciate all the more how marvelously the story translated into film.

It isn’t often I find a book and movie equally evocative, inspiring, and emotionally honest. Typically Hollywood will compromise things, insulting its audience, which is why it is always a pleasure to discover that occasionally someone gets it right. I know that if I had read this story before seeing the movie I would have been leery of the film, afraid it would never, could never, do justice to the story, losing the emotional integrity and poetic precision of the romance.

 Note:  I have since learned that there is a collection of works by Proulx that includes this short story.  Unfortunately, my library didn't have anything but the one story in a single volume.  Weird.  Annoying.  Typical.  *sigh*


  1. Do you suggest reading books before seeing the movies? Joe recommends this movie and if there is a short story, I'd like to read it as well, just don't know which to do first. As a kid, I always watched the movie first but the older I get, I find that I am more interested in reading the books. I saw Benjamin Button before I knew there was a short story. I think if I could have read the story first I would have since the book gives so much more detail and is more in depth.

  2. When I was growing up, my mother would make me read the book before seeing the movie so it's now a habit I have but I saw this movie before reading the short story.

    I think you should read the short story first if only because it is so gentle and honest and when you see how beautifully Ang Lee translated it onto film it makes the overall appreciation of both so much more.

    I would love to read the Fitzgerald short story because I just watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (finally!) and I was just blown away. I love Cate Blanchett. (But I am so sad she's in the new Robin Hood movie because I don't think even my love for her will get me to want to see it.)

  3. I was so touched by Benjamin Button. Joe and I had been in this routine for a while where we'd put Brianna to sleep (when she was way younger and not as able as she is now) and this movie was next on our list. Joe had already seen it but we had gotten into an argument. He left to do something and I locked the door and he fell asleep on the couch (still at my mom's house.) Joe and I had never spent a night a part since he moved in with me at my mother's and I was restless sleeping alone. So I watched it. And by the end, I was sobbing so hard that I woke him up and walked him back to the room so we could cuddle.
    And you can totally borrow my Fitzgerald book.