Narrative, a Lost Art

Over at the Guardian, Catherine Gander praises Ang Lee’s interpretation of the short story “Brokeback Mountain,” while bemoaning the “lost art of the narrative.”

Proulx’s tale, written in brisk yet highly evocative prose, relies on simplicity of plot to transcend the limitations of language, deftly yoking the wordless mythology of the cowboy with the understated love of her protagonists. That Proulx’s story had gone unnoticed here until the advent of Lee’s film is depressing yet unsurprising. The film raises an issue so far overlooked: England’s lost art of pure storytelling.

Gander argues that the short story is “nearly dead” in England because it is mismarketed as “bite-size literature” and that things are much better off in the US. Are they really?