Source: Close Range: Wyoming Stories (Annie Proulx,1999)
Date read: 1/3/10 (#6)
Briefly: Two cowboys, the open range, and nobody around but their horses and a bunch of sheep. That one summer on Brokeback Mountain shapes the rest of their lives.
First Sentence: Ennis del Mar wakes before five, wind rocking the trailer, hissing in around the aluminum door and window frames.
Afterthoughts: The movie got so much press, yet I didn't realize it was based on a short story until I saw it listed on C.B. James' Read the Book, See the Movie challenge . Proulx effectively distills two complicated lives into thirty pages. It's been years since I saw the movie but if anything was added to flesh it out, I couldn't name it.
I was hoping the short story would offer a deeper understanding of Jack's or Ennis' thoughts. What I got instead was a clearer sense that these characters aren't especially introspective people. The tragedy isn't so much the circumstances that keep two people apart, as it is their inability to come to terms with those circumstances openly, with each other.
This was my first time reading a Proulx story and I skipped to the back of the book to read this one first. I'm looking forward to starting back at the beginning now.