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Psychological Perspectives 51.1.2008
"Queer Persona and the Gay Gaze in 'Brokeback Mountain': Story and Film"
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Clifton gives an overview of the book:

Using Jungian and queer theory, this article examines the queer personas of Ennis and Jack, whose queer archetypes fit into a context that had not generally been thought to contain those archetypes. For perhaps the first time a major motion picture appealed to and depicted what Steven Drukman calls the “gay gaze.” Ennis and Jack conform to socially constructed gender roles (as “masculine,” married men), but they are essentially gay. The queer archetype they fit is that of likes: the double of Plato's Symposium, yet both are bereft of gay icons and supportive archetypal stories. Before Brokeback Mountain, never had a mainstream motion picture with such wide appeal directed gay men's attention to the frank love, and lovemaking, of two such nonstereotypically gay and attractive young men. When they first look each other over outside Joe Aguirre's office, Ennis and Jack...
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Using Jungian and queer theory, this article examines the queer personas of Ennis and Jack, whose queer archetypes fit into a context that had not generally been thought to contain those archetypes. For perhaps the first time a major motion picture appealed to and depicted what Steven Drukman calls the “gay gaze.” Ennis and Jack conform to socially constructed gender roles (as “masculine,” married men), but they are essentially gay. The queer archetype they fit is that of likes: the double of Plato's Symposium, yet both are bereft of gay icons and supportive archetypal stories. Before Brokeback Mountain, never had a mainstream motion picture with such wide appeal directed gay men's attention to the frank love, and lovemaking, of two such nonstereotypically gay and attractive young men. When they first look each other over outside Joe Aguirre's office, Ennis and Jack are unknowingly objects of each other's gay gaze. As gazers, gay men can appreciate these two young men for who they are, not for whom we'd like them to be, as is the case in other mainstream movies. For once we and our sympathetic heterosexual sisters are bearers of the look. To gaze at images that reflect our “inner selves” is a powerful and profound experience, all the more so for its rarity among gay male viewers.

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Clifton

Clifton Snider is the author of ten highly-acclaimed books of poetry, including The Age of the Mother (1992), The Alchemy of Opposites (2000), and Moonman: New and Selected Poems (2012). His novel about a bisexual rock star, Loud Whisper,...

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