Author Topic: New Brokeback book  (Read 2965 times)

Offline chowhound

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New Brokeback book
« on: Feb 09, 2011, 04:00 PM »
A new book of essays on Brokeback Mountain is apparently due to come out in May. Here is some information about it:



    The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon
    Edited by William R. Handley

    paperback
    2011. 400 pp.
    13 illustrations
    978-0-8032-2664-7
    $24.95 t
    Expected Availability 5/1/2011

    http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Brokeback-Book,674771.aspx

    An American Western made by a Taiwanese director and filmed in Canada, Brokeback Mountain was a global cultural phenomenon even before it became the highest grossing gay-themed drama in film history. Few films have inspired as much passion and debate, or produced as many contradictory responses, from online homage to late-night parody. In this wide-ranging and incisive collection, writers, journalists, scholars, and ordinary viewers explore the film and Annie Proulx’s original story as well as their ongoing cultural and political significance. The contributors situate Brokeback Mountain in relation to gay civil rights, the cinematic and literary Western, the Chinese value of forbearance, male melodrama, and urban and rural working lives across generations and genders.

    The Brokeback Book builds on earlier debates by novelist David Leavitt, critic Daniel Mendelsohn, producer James Schamus, and film reviewer Kenneth Turan with new and noteworthy interpretations of the Brokeback phenomenon, the film, and its legacy. Also appearing in print for the first time is Michael Silverblatt’s interview with Annie Proulx about the story she wrote and the film it became.

    William R. Handley is an associate professor of English at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Marriage, Violence, and Nation in the American Literary West and the coeditor, with Nathaniel Lewis, of True West: Authenticity and the American West, available in a Bison Books edition.

    Contributors: Martin Aguilera, Calvin Bedient, Colin Carman, Alan Dale, Jon Davies, Chris Freeman, Judith Halberstam, William R. Handley, Gregory Hinton, Andrew Holleran, Alex Hunt, David Leavitt, Mun-Hou Lo, Susan McCabe, Daniel Mendelsohn, James Morrison, Vanessa Osborne, Annie Proulx, James Schamus, Michael Silverblatt, Adam Sonstegard, Noah Tsika, Kenneth Turan, Patricia Nell Warren, and David Weiss.

    “There’s a Chinese saying, that you throw a brick to attract jade. So it is that the most precious thing about filmmaking—the reactions of the viewers—is entirely out of the hands of the filmmakers. We set out to make one film with Brokeback Mountain, and in return, we got an overwhelming number of reactions that we never expected from moviegoers who saw themselves, or the other, or both, reflected on the big screen. There is a whole range of Brokeback Mountains, many of which are explored in the fascinating, sometimes contradictory, and always passionate essays in this book.”—Ang Lee, Academy Award–winning director of Brokeback Mountain

    “Enlightening and provocative, The Brokeback Book is an outstanding collection of personal and scholarly essays. It’s an indispensable guide to a cultural milestone of our time.”—Robert Sklar, author of Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies

    “This extraordinary collection allows us to understand Brokeback Mountain as a social phenomenon, a revisionist Western, a classic love story, and a deeply transformative experience for millions of gay and lesbian viewers. The best movies do more than entertain—they alter the course of cultural history. The Brokeback Book shows us how and why Brokeback Mountain achieved just that.”—Christopher Kelly, film critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Texas Monthly

    “This book itself is a cultural phenomenon. William Handley has assembled a stellar cast of hard-riding contributors and a rich array of takes on the story, film, and ‘event.’ Two dozen essays and a multitude of points of view—from Marxist to genderqueer to creative insider, shaped both in the immediacy of the film’s release and with analytic hindsight—demonstrate eloquently why American culture won’t know how to quit this momentous narrative for many generations to come.”—Thomas Waugh, Research Chair in Sexual Representation and Documentary, Concordia University, Montreal Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.

Offline tizi17

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Re: New Brokeback book
« Reply #1 on: Aug 28, 2011, 10:31 AM »
i have seen it now on amazon, it's out since august:

one review is interesting:
The fact that we are still thinking, dreaming, experiencing, and critiquing BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN some six years after the award-winning motion picture was released is a testament to the kind of emotions it evoked - both positively and negatively.

Evaluating this particular rhetorical artifact within the context of contemporary mores, with strident inroads made for the LGBT community in the past couple of years, is a task begging for failure.

How can any scholar peer without prejudicial eye on a past event - much less a fictionalized one?

In my opinion, it would be a dishonest approach and what would be the point? The esteemed collection of contributors to THE BROKEBACK BOOK, to their everlasting credit, have not pretended to do so.

What they have accomplished, however, is further the discourse about why BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN resonated so soundly with the LGBT community, the "straight" community, and even its detractors. They have asked questions, provided theories, and pondered the possibilities of what is, what was, and what may come.

This is not complaining. Rather, it reminds us once again, why this elegant film broke our hearts, but not our resolve to discover new ways of talking about the human experience in all of its remarkable reflections.

Indeed, making molehills out of mountains might move us forward in our quest for a clearer view from where we sit now.


anyone read this book? any idea of how it is?
".. a love that dare not speak its name.." oscar wilde

Offline jackster

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Re: New Brokeback book
« Reply #2 on: Aug 28, 2011, 11:35 AM »
anyone read this book? any idea of how it is?

Well, tizi, since you asked, below are some quick thoughts I jotted (after reading most of the book) for our friend chowhound below. He subsequently reviewed the book and maybe he'll post his thoughts here too. These were from several months ago, CH thought some of the final chapters (that I hadn't read yet) were better. Of course if you're like me, anything BBM is something you've got to have. So with that in mind . . .

I've read most of Wm Handley's book, "The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon". Somewhat disappointing I'd say. A lot of "intellectualizing" about Brokeback by people who, to me, haven't actually studied the book or the movie with much diligence. The book is peppered with factual errors which make it very distracting and difficult to give it much respect. I don't have the book here with me at work, but an example of the type of thing I'm talking about is one essay writer who referred repeated to Ennis and Jack having "sex in the pup tent". Well as you know, and anyone whose done any study of the book/story knows, they had sex in the big tent, not the pup tent. And as anyone whose ever slept in one knows, a pup tent is so small it'd be very difficult to have any sex in it. Anyway, sort of rant here, but you get the idea. People who try to write authoritatively about a subject matter and then get pretty big details like this mixed up, don't get much respect from me. This type of error occurs not in every chapter, but frequently enough to make me wonder who did the writing and the proof reading.

The "Cultural" part of the title also tends to direct the essays down misguided paths. As most people who write about "culture" are of course from big cities (generally in the east) their perspective of this story and it's impact on culture in other parts of the US (such as my small town in Ohio) is also somewhat slanted (or being less charitable - distorted).
Another essay that pops into mind, complained that as Annie Proulx had taken pains in the SS to refer to Ennis as Hispanic they thought that Ang Lee completely dropped the ball in casting Heath Ledger, a blonde. !!?? I guess because Annie used the name "DelMar", that made Ennis Hispanic! Bizarre, I've never read, heard, or imagined by any account that Ennis was Hispanic, did you?

But there are a few really well done essays which may make the book worth the purchase. I guess if you've got a BBM collection (like me) it's one of those things that you do need, well done or not.


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Offline chowhound

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Re: New Brokeback book
« Reply #3 on: Aug 28, 2011, 03:26 PM »
Well, tizi, since you asked, below are some quick thoughts I jotted (after reading most of the book) for our friend chowhound below. He subsequently reviewed the book and maybe he'll post his thoughts here too. These were from several months ago, CH thought some of the final chapters (that I hadn't read yet) were better. Of course if you're like me, anything BBM is something you've got to have. So with that in mind . . .

I've read most of Wm Handley's book, "The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon". Somewhat disappointing I'd say. A lot of "intellectualizing" about Brokeback by people who, to me, haven't actually studied the book or the movie with much diligence. The book is peppered with factual errors which make it very distracting and difficult to give it much respect. I don't have the book here with me at work, but an example of the type of thing I'm talking about is one essay writer who referred repeated to Ennis and Jack having "sex in the pup tent". Well as you know, and anyone whose done any study of the book/story knows, they had sex in the big tent, not the pup tent. And as anyone whose ever slept in one knows, a pup tent is so small it'd be very difficult to have any sex in it. Anyway, sort of rant here, but you get the idea. People who try to write authoritatively about a subject matter and then get pretty big details like this mixed up, don't get much respect from me. This type of error occurs not in every chapter, but frequently enough to make me wonder who did the writing and the proof reading.

The "Cultural" part of the title also tends to direct the essays down misguided paths. As most people who write about "culture" are of course from big cities (generally in the east) their perspective of this story and it's impact on culture in other parts of the US (such as my small town in Ohio) is also somewhat slanted (or being less charitable - distorted).
Another essay that pops into mind, complained that as Annie Proulx had taken pains in the SS to refer to Ennis as Hispanic they thought that Ang Lee completely dropped the ball in casting Heath Ledger, a blonde. !!?? I guess because Annie used the name "DelMar", that made Ennis Hispanic! Bizarre, I've never read, heard, or imagined by any account that Ennis was Hispanic, did you?

But there are a few really well done essays which may make the book worth the purchase. I guess if you've got a BBM collection (like me) it's one of those things that you do need, well done or not.



As Jackster has mentioned it, here is my brief review. On the question of "errors", I'm in complete agreement with him:

In general, I found some of the essays in this collection of interest but,
overall, I found the book of less interest than some earlier Brokeback
books. This is because the main focus here is not the movie or short story
itself but a number of cultural "contexts" into which the movie can be
slotted. For instance, Part 2 is entitled "Miles to Go and Promises to
keep: Homophobic Culture and Gay Civil Rights."

Because my interest is more in the movie and short story themselves than
in such contexts, I found the two essays which constitute the final
section, both of which do deal with the movie itself, the most appealing.
Susan McCabe's essay "Mother Twist" is a thoughtful discussion of various
aspects of the "maternal" that can be found in the movie. Equally
thoughtful is Calvin Bennett's "Passion and Sympathy in Brokeback
Mountain" in which he explores the concept of "sympathy" and the ways in
which Ennis may have changed towards the end.

I also enjoyed Patricia Neil Warren's survey of historical cowboys,
rodeos, and gay rodeos though, bizarrely, she has Jack dying at the age
of 43. Likewise, Judith Halberstam's essay "Not So Lonesome Cowboys" is a
persuasive investigation of the homoerotic overtones in the Western in
general though, very strangely, she believes that Ennis is a Latino who
is transformed into a white in the movie.

Indeed, it is mistakes like this which at times made me question whether
some of the writers had actually studied the movie or the short story with
due care. You'd expect the editor, William R. Hadley to get things right
but no, he has both tent scenes taking place specifically in the "pup"
tent whereas we all know in which tent it was that those two scenes
took place.

Offline tizi17

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Re: New Brokeback book
« Reply #4 on: Aug 29, 2011, 02:01 AM »
thank you both very much....  ^f^

i do see that some "mistakes" can be disappointing, especially the ones you pointed out would make me howl, too..
but yes, on the other hand, anything BBM i can get my hand on...  ;)

thanks very much again, i will see to get getting it...   ^f^
".. a love that dare not speak its name.." oscar wilde

Offline tinaking

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Re: New Brokeback book
« Reply #5 on: Dec 08, 2017, 03:36 AM »
I really like this book
I'm fond of this movie because this story is amazing...