Wish I Was There: Economies of Communication in Annie Proulx’s Postcards and “Brokeback Mountain”

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This essay explores the ways in which Annie Proulx exploits the narrative possibilities of the picture postcard in the novel Postcards (1993) and in the celebrated short story “Brokeback Mountain” (1999). Ideas of place, landscape, journeying, and longing for home are encapsulated in picture postcards that symbolise geographic distance and emotional alienation. Postcards, freighted with extra-textual meaning derived from picture and place, symbolise spatial and emotional distance between sender and addressee: they are testimony to restless fragmented lives on the road. Proulx exploits structural irony with messages that symbolise the inescapable pull of home and a need to connect whilst remaining largely empty of any truth of experience. Avoidance and liberation from conventions of epistolary exchange are necessary functions for Proulx’s regional narratives of exile and alienation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Epistolary Renaissance: A Critical Approach to Contemporary Letter Narratives in Anglophone Fiction
    EditorsMaria Loschnigg, Rebekka Schuh
    PublisherDe Gruyter, Berlin/Boston
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)978-3-11-058481-3
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2018

    Publication series

    NameAnglia Book Series


    • Postcards
    • landscape epistolary writing
    • place
    • Regional writing
    • Annie Proulx


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