Friday, April 17, 2009

Annie Proulx: Bad Dirt - Wyoming Stories 2

I haven't even seen Brokeback Mountain, folks.

Curiosity prompted me to get this, and also, short stories are good to read when interruptions are frequent (darn those nightly rounds when I'm working). I'm glad I did, because I found it quite marvellous. Not that every story was a masterpiece, but it was on the whole very good. In Proulx nobody is a hero I think, instead people are just people. This sounds simple, but most authors can't really write that simply, just about people. It's odd.

Some of the stories are about a little three-bar town called Elk Tooth. These are a little more humourous and feature the same sets of characters. A bit more crazy, like the one with the game warden who discovers an opening straight to hell in the forest, to which he commences to bring the poachers he catches.

I'm also enamoured with the names. Does everyone in Wyoming have fantastic names? Wolfscale, Conkle, Cokendall, DeBock.

And most of all she manages to make us fall a little bit in love with Wyoming. Without glorifying anything, least of all the people, remember, she tells us that it's worth loving. It inspires devotion and love. Maybe this love destroys it too. But I'd like to go there and see the clear sky...

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