Writer Annie Proulx regrets writing
Brokeback Mountain, saying that since the film's release it
has been a source of “irritation” for her.
The story was adapted into a film
starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in 2005.
Proulx's story, released in 1997,
follows Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, who meet while herding sheep in
1960s Wyoming. Their 20-year relationship ends with the murder of
Jack Twist, the victim of a homophobic attack.
“I wish I'd never written the story,”
Proulx told The
Paris Review. “It's just been the cause of hassle and
problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film, it
was all right.”
Proulx said that people write to her
with suggestions to “fix” Brokeback's unhappy ending.
“So many people have completely
misunderstood the story. I think it’s important to leave spaces in
a story for readers to fill in from their own experience, but
unfortunately the audience that Brokeback reached most
strongly have powerful fantasy lives. And one of the reasons we keep
the gates locked here is that a lot of men have decided that the
story should have had a happy ending. They can’t bear the way it
ends – they just can’t stand it. So they rewrite the story,
including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers and so forth after
Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild.”
“They can’t understand that the
story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s
about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular
mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you
how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re
expecting me to say, Oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write
it that way. And they all begin the same way – I’m not gay,
but?.?.?.?The implication is that because they’re men they
understand much better than I how these people would have behaved.
And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are
not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.”