Thursday, October 13, 2005

Brokeback Mountain

Blogging the Complete New Yorker: 2nd in an occasional series.

Today I tracked down "Brokeback Mountain", the Annie Proulx short story from the October 13, 1997, issue of the New Yorker. I haven't had the time to read it yet, but I printed it out. Like Andy of Towleroad, I've been looking forward to the film version of this story forever; now I can go back and read the original.

Here, by the way, are the New Yorker archive keywords for the original short story (there's also a lengthy summary): Keywords: Wyoming; Death; Men; Shirts; Sheep; Homosexuals; Love Affairs; Violence; Shepherds; Cremation; Cowboy; Bisexuals. I love Shirts in that list.

Dante wrote in with serveral suggestions. First, that I track down Pauline Kael's (in)famous review of Last Tango in Paris, which is from the October 28, 1972, issue. Roger Ebert's Great Movies reappraisal of Last Tango helps explain why:
The history of "Last Tango in Paris" (1972) has and always will be dominated by Pauline Kael. "The movie breakthrough has finally come," she wrote, in what may be the most famous movie review ever published. "Bertolucci and Brando have altered the face of an art form." She said the film's premiere was an event comparable to the night in 1913 when Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" was first performed and ushered in modern music. As it has turned out, "Last Tango" was not a breakthrough but more of an elegy for the kind of film she championed. In the years since, mass Hollywood entertainments have all but crushed art films, which were much more successful then than now.
Second, Dante suggests the October 20, 2003, profile of Quentin Tarantino by Larissa MacFarquahar. Here are the keywords that the New Yorker archive assigned to that article: Keywords: Movies; Actors; Violence; Kubrick, Stanley; Directors; Godard, Jean-Luc; Parks, Michael; Irony; Pollack, Sydney; Leonard, Elmore; Schrader, Paul; Tarantino, Quentin; Bender, Lawrence; Grier, Pam; “Jackie Brown”; “Lolita”; Thurman, Uma; “Reservoir Dogs”; “The Green Mile”; “Breathless”; Remakes; “Pulp Fiction”; “Kill Bill-Vol. 1”; “A Clockwork Orange”; Madsen, Michael; Quentin Tarantino Film Festival; Menke, Sally; “True Romance”; Minutiae; “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”; “The Mezzanine”; McBride, Jim; Pop Culture; Forster, Robert;. Exactly?

Next, Dante suggests two short stories: Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" (December 25, 2000), which sounds fantastic. Here's the opening of the summary:
Short story about Oscar de Leon, a Dominican boy nicknamed Oscar Wao for looking like that fat homo Oscar Wilde, told by his college roommate who dated his older sister Lola. Oscar de Leon had good luck with girls when he was seven. Overweight and ugly by the time he entered Don Bosco Tech high school, he became a ghetto nerd. He gets along with Ana Acuna, a pretty loudmouthed gordita from his S.A.T. prep class.
Finally, Dante also suggests "Ranch Girl" by Maile Meloy, which I think is from the October 16, 2000, issue. (I don't have the DVDs on me, so I'm going by the archive, which oddly enough doesn't have titles to stories. I can see three fiction pieces by Maile Meloy between 2000 and 2003, and two of them could potentially be titled "Ranch Girl". More research necessary.)


Blogger Eigna said...


I have been trying to read "the short wondrous life of Oscar Wao" again for almost two years now. Where can I get it? can you help me?

10:26 AM  

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