Author Topic: Interesting observations about the short story  (Read 7001 times)

Offline silkncense

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2006, 09:30:13 pm »
I haven't read the short story in some time (need to read it again soon), but the section
Quote
Ennis as "suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream."
to me was not so much hopeful as sad (ish). 

Ennis had the memories & dreams of the love of Jack & even now recognized that he'd been in love with Jack in return.  But, I see Ennis living totally in the past with that love & not moving forward.  I know some believe that Ennis moved on (thus fanfic such as Ennis & Ellery) but my feeling was just as I later heard Annie Proulx say "There is no Ennis w/out Jack." - his being died w/ Jack & then, outside his love for his daughters, only the shell existed.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2006, 09:48:44 pm »
Quote
I haven't read the short story in some time (need to read it again soon), but the section
Quote:
Ennis as "suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream."
to me was not so much hopeful as sad (ish).

Fair enough. Maybe hopeful isn't the best word here, it's just the one that came to my mind first. Not to turn morbid or share too much, but to me that line is hopeful because it's exactly how I feel when I think of my late boyfriend--which I do, numerous times a day, though he's been dead nearly seven years--and I assure you it's a positive feeling, a good feeling not sad or depressing. 

I don't believe Ennis "moved on" and found someone else--I didn't mean hopeful in that sense--and I won't read the Ennis and Ellery saga, and that's why I ended up turning to writing Alternative Universe fanfiction where Ennis and Jack do ranch up and have a sweet life together.

But to move on, I checked materials I saved both on line and in hard copy, and all I can find are recollections of Annie Proulx having said that the prologue was added for the Front Range version of the story, but no positive evidence in the form of direct quotes from Annie with the source of the quote.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2006, 10:00:31 pm »
This is so interesting and I'm so glad U brought it up. The topic of word choices in the book and movie is deep and we have hardly even scratched the surface. As I recall from reading the story, Jack loved to use big words. He would say "I'm commutin four hours a day" and would often get them wrong, such as asphixiate (as U point out), athaletes,  and vertebrates. I attribute this to Jack always wanting to better himself, to leave the poverty-ridden confines of his youth. And, as Jake said, he always tried really hard in everything he did.

Maybe Jack's love of long words mirrors a similar urge in Ennis.  I'm thinking here of the part (in the story) about Ennis wanting to be a sophomore.

"He had wanted to be a sophomore, felt the word carried a kind of distinction..."
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Offline Katie77

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2006, 11:24:52 pm »
I have been reading all the posts in this thread, and they are all interesting, and I think I have become to like the book a little bit more than what I did originally...

I saw the movie twice, before I bought the book, and after reading it for the first time, I thought, shit, how did they make such a powerful movie from that book.
I didnt like the description of the boys, didnt like the "urinating in the sink" bit, maybe I'm just not that good at gauging the emotions from the written word....(I usually prefer to see a movie before reading the book, then I have the characters and story all ready in place to fit to the written words)..

I have read the book many many times, usually when i just need a quick "hit", and havent got time to sit and watch the movie, and the more I read it, I must admit, the more I do like it, but I have said, that if I had read the book first, I might not have been so eager to see the movie.

On the other hand, I have always wished the book was a two inch thick novel, that I could have curled up with, and devoured , with explanations and lots more detail for everything we wonder about, and side stories, that we just imagine, or assume happened.......So often, have I damned Annie for only writing a short story.

Anyway, was wondering if any others out there felt like i did about the book.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2006, 11:32:18 pm »
Ennis had the memories & dreams of the love of Jack & even now recognized that he'd been in love with Jack in return.  But, I see Ennis living totally in the past with that love & not moving forward.  I know some believe that Ennis moved on (thus fanfic such as Ennis & Ellery) but my feeling was just as I later heard Annie Proulx say "There is no Ennis w/out Jack." - his being died w/ Jack & then, outside his love for his daughters, only the shell existed.

Ah, Silk.  As is so often the case, you and I are on the same page, sentence, and word.  Just as Jack died the moment he knew for certain he couldn't be with Ennis, Ennis died the moment he knew Jack had literally died - the moment he looked at that returned postcard.  I love that shot, as painful as it is to watch - that 180 degree camera turn - the pivotal moment, as it were.  That shot mirrors the shot at the lake.  And that says - to me, anyway - that that was the moment Jack knew - the moment that Jack quit Ennis, as dear Ruthlessly so eloquently wrote.
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Offline RouxB

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2006, 11:40:15 pm »
Part of what makes the story brilliant is it's brevity and simplicity. An amazingly  complex character development in such a few short pages. Twenty years of time experienced by the reader...Evocative, heart-wrenching-I am enthralled each and every time I read it.

 O0

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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2006, 09:01:19 am »
I have been reading all the posts in this thread, and they are all interesting, and I think I have become to like the book a little bit more than what I did originally...

I saw the movie twice, before I bought the book, and after reading it for the first time, I thought, shit, how did they make such a powerful movie from that book.
I didnt like the description of the boys, didnt like the "urinating in the sink" bit, maybe I'm just not that good at gauging the emotions from the written word....(I usually prefer to see a movie before reading the book, then I have the characters and story all ready in place to fit to the written words)..

I have read the book many many times, usually when i just need a quick "hit", and havent got time to sit and watch the movie, and the more I read it, I must admit, the more I do like it, but I have said, that if I had read the book first, I might not have been so eager to see the movie.

On the other hand, I have always wished the book was a two inch thick novel, that I could have curled up with, and devoured , with explanations and lots more detail for everything we wonder about, and side stories, that we just imagine, or assume happened.......So often, have I damned Annie for only writing a short story.

Anyway, was wondering if any others out there felt like i did about the book.

It's funny, but I'm sure you could argue indefinitely the virtue of "reading the story first, then seeing the movie," vs. "seeing the movie first, then reading the story." Each side, I'm sure, would have its passionate defenders. I think, though, at least everyone can agree on how amazingly faithful the film is to the original Annie Proulx story.

I've known the story since its original publication in The New Yorker. (Boy, have I kicked myself for not saving that issue!  :laugh: ) So I already basically knew what to expect in terms of the plot. I deliberately went out and bought a copy of the story to read and refresh my memory just before I saw the film for the first time. I was absolutely stunned to hear whole passages of dialogue that I recognized as lifted right from the pages of Annie Proulx, and to see scenes (for example, Jack, in the pup tent, looking down at Ennis's "night fire," and Ennis looking up at Jack on the heights with the sheep) that I also recognized as coming right from the text.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 12:27:44 pm by Jeff Wrangler »
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

mvansand76

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2006, 11:49:26 am »
I remember weeping the first time I saw the movie at the way Jack's room looked so bare - I couldn't put a finger on it, but something about such a burning soul living in that plain, cold room made my heart hurt.


So true and well-put, it's exactly what I have noticed during the past viewings. The sheer persistance of Jack to create a better life for himself (and Ennis) than what he was brought up in is so overwhelming and such a wonderful character trait. It makes you love him even more. He had so many plans, he was such an idealist. It's such a stark contrast with the austerity and bleakness of his room (the music adds to this, it's soooo bleak...). Also, I think this is where Ennis realises that not only did Jack's father never believe in Jack's dreams, but that he himself was the one who really crushed Jack's dreams, that he was to blame for Jack not being able to live the dream (life) that he dreamed (wanted), I think that's what he feels most guilty about at that point.

Just when you think you are starting to get over the sadness of this story...

Offline Samrim

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2006, 03:08:20 pm »
Hello Katie, and all,
I have to say that I agree with Roux; I ache for the film still, it's just so perfect (I've even had a lump in my throat  reading some of the end tags on some messages in this string ::)), but when I  read the short story AFTER seeing the film, I was completely blown away. I mean how can we possibly SEE a twenty year life in thirty pages :) Annie Proulx has the sublime gift of saying much with little! Both film and book are jewels which I treasure
I can't add to the debate, which I find deeply interesting and pleasing. Thanks a bunch everyone! Best Wishes  ;D
Sam

Offline 2robots4u

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Re: Interesting observations about the short story
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2006, 01:54:18 am »
Front-Ranger...the actual words are "The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies, leaves a temporary silence."