Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Ethnicity of Brokeback

I just read a quickie review in the LA Times by the hispanic author of the Dirty Girls Social Club claiming Ennis Del Mar was a Mexican character as described by Annie Proulx in the short story. It can be found here.

"Ennis, high-arched nose and narrow face, was scruffy and a little cave-chested, balanced a small torso on long, caliper legs, possessed a muscular and supple body made for the horse and for fighting. His reflexes were uncommonly quick and he was farsighted enough to dislike reading anything except Hamley's saddle catalog."

This doesn't sound like any Mexican-heritage male I've seen lately. In fact it sounds just like Heath Ledger. Now Aguirre, the Randy Quaid character sounds like he could be. Then, after savaging Larry McMurtry and his writing partner on the screenplay who also had Ennis as a hispanic, she claims, and his wife Alma too, whose maiden name in the story was Beers, Ms. Valdes turns her attention to Jared Diamond and Guns, Germs, and Steel.

She writes: In "Guns, Germs and Steel," Jared Diamond contends that the Spaniards were able to conquer what became Latin America primarily because they had horses. Horses, in fact, came to the Americas from Spain."

Yeah, they came with the Spaniards. Hello. And they printed this. Brokeback Mountain is not an hispanic gay movie. And something tells me they don't want it to be either. It's a film about uncommon love. And it happens between two unlikely characters. It's not a gay film per se as in the "gay cowboy movie" tag used to describe it quickly on TV.

This is just carping based on personal ethnic bias and an unfortunate degradation of a fine and accurate portrayal of the story. Proulx thinks so too.


Blogger Lady M said...


I had to laugh at this because I'm married to a man of Mexican heritage.

He always says that everyone is Mexican.

I think it's just one of those things... If you're proud of your culture or heritage, it is oft times all that you can see.

Just like a computer techno geek - everything is about electronic gadgets...

Or the banker - everything is about money...

And so on.

So - she probably truly feels that it was written about people of the Mexican heritage. Simply because that is her hobby, her culture, her "tunnel-vision".


OK - off the philosophy meanderings.

Have a splendid day!

Lady M

9:20 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks Lady M. I don't like to be blamed for things I didn't do if it can be helped. I don't discount discrimination but this is way outside the bounds.

My second book is about Alaska and so is the novel I'm writing now. Don't copy my path though. It's not a success. POD and vanity is why.

12:38 PM  

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