Erin's Reviews > Close Range
Before Brokeback Mountain gets taken entirely out of context, take a look at Annie Proulx's Close Range: Wyoming Stories, the collection in which the story is featured. If you've seen the movie but have yet to read the story, I suggest you begin here. If you've already read the story by itself, come back to this collection entire. While Diana Ossana (one of the movie's produces & screenwriters) came across it in the New Yorker and felt inspired to write a screenplay, the story itself does not simply stand alone. Certainly it can be read on its own - each story in Close Range probably can. Characters don't reappear in other stories, nor are they connected through some precise, intricate web-work that is all neatly laid out in the end. But these stories do a strange, concentric dance, each upon the other. And "Brokeback Mountain" comes last - not first, and not alone. There is a reason for this. The richness of "Brokeback Mountain," the fullness of the story, is somewhat lost without the other stories that come before it. That may seem impossible given how beautiful the story is already, but it's true. That's part of the magic of literature, and testament to Annie Proulx's excellent writing, which is beautiful, both tender and harsh, relentless as the land she writes about. These stories are all about loneliness, about work, about love, all of which is washed out by "the endlessly repeated flood of morning light. You begin to see that God does not owe us much beyond that."
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