I had a few moments to spare this past week to spend at the West Portal Public Library, choosing books I don’t have in my personal library. I went straight for Annie Proulx because I enjoyed The Shipping News so much.
I wanted to read the short story, “Brokeback Mountain,” not because I had seen the film but because I admire Proulx’s writing style and wanted to learn more about Wyoming. After reading this heartbreaking story, I am glad I didn’t see the film. Knowing Hollywood, the characters of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist would probably never have touched my heart as Proulx’s characterizations did.
Here were two very young men – destitute, poorly educated, broken-down and bad teeth – thrown together for an isolated summer that forever changes their lives and brings them the closest they will ever come to true love.
Proulx’s artistry is boundless. She brings all her humanity and understanding of the human heart to the fore in this beautiful tragedy.