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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

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
Pages107-122
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-058481-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameAnglia Book Series

    Fingerprint

Keywords

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

Cite this

Brindle, K. (2018). Wish I Was There: Economies of Communication in Annie Proulx’s Postcards and “Brokeback Mountain”. In M. Loschnigg, & R. Schuh (Eds.), The Epistolary Renaissance: A Critical Approach to Contemporary Letter Narratives in Anglophone Fiction (pp. 107-122). (Anglia Book Series). De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110584813