16 July 2007


I have decided that Anne Proulx is a fantastic writer - even though I end up quite saddened by the tales she tells. She definitely evokes the memories of what we saw on our trip out west to Montana back in 2000 to see my brother and his family. She has a way of showing the horrible effects of loneliness on people - how it destroys them from the inside out.


Anonymous said...

She is definitely a gifted writer. I've not been able to read much by her since "Brokeback Mountain".

William Weedon said...

Last night I read *People in Hell Just Want a Drink of Water.* Wow. Very, very sad.

William Weedon said...

Marianne Moore in her poem "Poetry" talks about "imaginary gardens with real toads in them." I think that captures the work of Proulx also - she creates "gardens" that are imaginary but real enough, but the people she puts in them! Amazing how deeply and quickly she sketches a character and how the character stays with you. And I love that she doesn't back off from showing us the effects of our sinful choices in this very broken world.

Anonymous said...

I quite agree with your analysis of her writing. When I read her novel "Postcards" I was left with such a poignant view of "reaping what you sow" that I almost couldn't finish the novel. The law shows us our sin, and we all sin
much, but it is also a curb and after reading some of her work I was ever so grateful for that curb. I guess what frustrated me about "Brokeback Mountain" (I read the shortstory), was that Proulx seemed to compromise. Families are broken by the actions of the two men and yet we are to see them as the victims. Too much of a stretch for me.

William Weedon said...


I think she intended us to see them as victims of their own actions (in the way we all are) and, at the same time we pity them, to feel horrified at the careless and loveless way they treated others (and in the mirror to ask: have I treated others that God has given me to love and cherish with such lovelessness?).

They made idols and worshipped them, and idolatry always bring unfathomable sadness, for no creature on earth can bear the weight of being looked to like that, and more than one life was then sacrificed.

So I guess I'll have to respectfully disagree that she compromised in Brokeback. I just think she held up a mirror to a particularly painful and awful situation, and thus she did a very godlike thing: she taught us to feel pity for those victimized by the brokeness of sin - both those who perpetrate the sin and those who suffer in their wake. FWIW. Thanks for the conversation!