Better late than never, I guess. My eyes always perk up whenever I see an article penned by Andrew Holleran, author of one of the breathtaking seminal gay novels, Dancer from the Dance. This month’s Gay & Lesbian Review presents an essay about Brokeback Mountain that, were it not written by Holleran, I’d most surely have glossed over. Here’s an excerpt from Holleran’s meditation on the cowboy tale:
“The longing of Jack and Ennis for one another, though set in the early 1960’s, seems to unfold in its own little world—the way love does, actually. I suppose, had Ennis and Jack been allowed to live together, or grow old, their romance would have devolved into arguments over dish washing, channel changing, drinking, and depression. Maybe they would have moved to San Francisco, or started doing threesomes. But in this movie they do not. Their love lives on after you leave the theater because it was never obtained. (There is at the end one crushing revelation that Jack had transferred his dream of running his folks’ ranch with Ennis to a man in Texas; that news is just one more tiny nail in the coffin of Ennis’ loss.) Yet it’s this that makes Brokeback so moving: it’s a never-resolved argument between two men, one who wishes to live freely with the person he loves, and one who believes society will not let them, having witnessed something as a child that instilled that message in him in a fearful way.”
Fans of Holleran or Brokeback will find the long essay worth the read.
The Magic Mountain [gay & lesbian review]