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Author Topic: The Dozy Embrace  (Read 5643 times)

Offline suelyblu

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2016, 03:55:22 PM »
This not a discussion post ...but....I was bored with nothing on TV...so I went browsing on "Slash Links"...and I found this written in 2006 by Athinfacade.
It's about the Dozy Embrace though I didn't realiize this when I started to read it and it is rather lovely and sweet.
It's called  "Sing".  Thanks Athinfacade..... who ever you are. :)

Hope it's OK to post this here.
"I  know that ghosts have wondered on the earth,
 Be with me always. Take any form. Drive me mad,
 only do not leave me in the dark alone, where I cannot
 find you.
 I cannot live without my life.
 I cannot die without my soul.
                                          .

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2016, 05:20:46 PM »
I like to picture the book scene with the smaller Jack and taller Ennis.  I think it gives a different feel, and Ennis seems more paternal.

We don't ever see what Ennis thinks of it, and apart from the fact that it wouldn't work to have two accounts of the DE, I think his feelings must be different.  At the time, he'd managed to push all thoughts of the possibility that they might be gay out of his head, and even though the sex was obviously challenging enough for him to instinctively place limits on it, sex didn't feature in this moment.  He was just hugging the unexpected and loved friend he'd discovered.   But I wonder if it was marred for him looking back, once he'd realised what was really going on on Brokeback?  And once he suspected that Jack was gay and was having to find reasons why he himself, wasn't? 

I think for Jack it's different, because I think he's aware of his own feelings for Ennis, but keeps thsm hidden (he steals the shirt).    I think he got the impression that Ennis was either straight and enjoying the sexual release, or gay and in denial, but either way, not open to a confession from Jack.  I think the DE told a different story, about Ennis's true feelings, and it was enough to make Jack contact him after four years.   Maybe not enough for Jack to have come up with something straight after Brokeback, but I think the punch got in the way.   

Anyway, when Jack looks back, there's nothing that negates the DE or mars it really - he always knew about Ennis's reluctance, internalised homophobia, etc., even if he'd hoped that they might get further.  Whereas when Ennis looks back, his current knowledge could mar the DE, because it wasn't what he thought it was at the time (It was a trying-to-be straight man showing love for a gay man, rather than a straight man showing love to his straight friend).     They always seem to be coming from different directions.
Hi, Des. Not surprisingly, I agree totally about the height difference. It does alter the dynamic, although I see Ennis as channeling mother love while Jack is feeling it through the lens of his own father's rejection of him. I liked seeing the scene in the opera where their heights are as per the SS (and since AP had close involvement with that first production it's not surprising). Also, seeing Brokies Adam and Rodney re-enacting the scene up on Mt Brokenback as Rodney read the DE passage out also convinced me that AP had it right with her protagonists.

Your post had me dwelling again upon what Ennis thought/remembered about the DE, and while I can imagine stuff I don't know that we really know. Nothing is said about his thoughts; it's Jack who sees it as the one moment in their separate lives, not Ennis. It seems like Ennis was just going with the flow as usual. He wouldn't embrace Jack face to face on the mountain, yet was comfortable to hold him for quite a long time in that sexless embrace, then once the reunion kiss overwhelms him I guess we can assume he was happy to be f2f but we know he can't bring himself to display emotion again in that sweet and loving DE fashion. On the mountain I doubt he thought in terms of being/not being f2f, and afterwards I think he might have not even considered being sexlessly loving towards Jack. The only physical connection we are told about is pre- and post-sex.

But somewhere in his brain he does recall the DE and when he finds the shirts he understands, Jack's over Ennis's, and AP makes that clear with her choice of words:

...the shadow of their bodies a single column against the rock.

...the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one.

Is it pure caution which makes Jack put his own shirt on the outside (since his jeans-ironing mother would no doubt see it), or is it symbolic of Jack's desire to hold Ennis that way? Probably both, and a few more things besides. It sort of puts them both on the same page, no twisting of the facts to have one gay and the other not-queer. We don't hear how the shirts are hung in Ennis's trailer, beyond the fact that he first puts them on a hanger, and I've often thought about Heath's instinctive decision to reverse them. In the film that kind of represents a return to the DE, giving Jack what he craved at last (and too late), but in the film we don't get that knowledge about the DE which we do in the SS. Still, Heath read the story beforehand and I'd like to think he was thinking of the DE when he reversed the shirts.

Sorry, that was a waffly post.

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2016, 05:24:27 PM »
This not a discussion post ...but....I was bored with nothing on TV...so I went browsing on "Slash Links"...and I found this written in 2006 by Athinfacade.
It's about the Dozy Embrace though I didn't realiize this when I started to read it and it is rather lovely and sweet.
It's called  "Sing".  Thanks Athinfacade..... who ever you are. :)

Hope it's OK to post this here.
Link?

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2016, 01:38:46 AM »
~snip~
I say this ....because the way the scene of the DE...just seemed to be wedged into the film and to an extent in the SS too. We never saw it  coming and yet it was one of the most tender and important scenes. Ennis doing something loving with out being prompted was a big milestone for him.....and Jack.
Intially, Larry and Diana considered putting it in twice, once at its chronological point and then as it appears in the story, after the argument. I'm glad they didn't, even though there was that slight "Huh?" feeling amongst many viewers. The first time I saw it, it failed to register as a flashback at first but my excuse is that I was already bawling my eyes out and utterly distressed.

So why is it wedged into the story at that point? My feeling is that we have to know (at least partially) what drove Jack through those twenty years, and we have to follow what changes in Jack's mind between the argument and his statement to his parents then his death soon after. And it shows how it wasn't just sex which held the relationship together, despite the careful way which AP disguises the depth of feeling between them. We can guess that Jack is in love because of his desire to live with Ennis, but we never really know.

So the DE shows this beauty but it's a classic AP trick of tickling a reader under the chin then punching them in the face. Two paragraphs of gorgeousness followed by that awful information of what was actually happening on the mountain. And this then clears up Ennis's threat about "all them things I don't know." We (hopefully) understand that he never faced up to the truth. It's a killer moment.

Online Sara B

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2016, 03:18:41 AM »
Hi, Des. Not surprisingly, I agree totally about the height difference. It does alter the dynamic, although I see Ennis as channeling mother love while Jack is feeling it through the lens of his own father's rejection of him. I liked seeing the scene in the opera where their heights are as per the SS (and since AP had close involvement with that first production it's not surprising). Also, seeing Brokies Adam and Rodney re-enacting the scene up on Mt Brokenback as Rodney read the DE passage out also convinced me that AP had it right with her protagonists.

Your post had me dwelling again upon what Ennis thought/remembered about the DE, and while I can imagine stuff I don't know that we really know. Nothing is said about his thoughts; it's Jack who sees it as the one moment in their separate lives, not Ennis. It seems like Ennis was just going with the flow as usual. He wouldn't embrace Jack face to face on the mountain, yet was comfortable to hold him for quite a long time in that sexless embrace, then once the reunion kiss overwhelms him I guess we can assume he was happy to be f2f but we know he can't bring himself to display emotion again in that sweet and loving DE fashion. On the mountain I doubt he thought in terms of being/not being f2f, and afterwards I think he might have not even considered being sexlessly loving towards Jack. The only physical connection we are told about is pre- and post-sex.

But somewhere in his brain he does recall the DE and when he finds the shirts he understands, Jack's over Ennis's, and AP makes that clear with her choice of words:

...the shadow of their bodies a single column against the rock.

...the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one.

Is it pure caution which makes Jack put his own shirt on the outside (since his jeans-ironing mother would no doubt see it), or is it symbolic of Jack's desire to hold Ennis that way? Probably both, and a few more things besides. It sort of puts them both on the same page, no twisting of the facts to have one gay and the other not-queer. We don't hear how the shirts are hung in Ennis's trailer, beyond the fact that he first puts them on a hanger, and I've often thought about Heath's instinctive decision to reverse them. In the film that kind of represents a return to the DE, giving Jack what he craved at last (and too late), but in the film we don't get that knowledge about the DE which we do in the SS. Still, Heath read the story beforehand and I'd like to think he was thinking of the DE when he reversed the shirts.

Sorry, that was a waffly post.

Waffling's fine - well, I do it a lot anyway. More 'musing' perhaps?
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline BlueJeanJeannie

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2016, 06:59:14 AM »
... I found this written in 2006 by Athinfacade. It's about the Dozy Embrace though I didn't realiize this when I started to read it and it is rather lovely and sweet. It's called  "Sing".

Link?

Don't know if it's OK to post direct links, but...

http://brokebackslash.livejournal.com/195353.html
Chaos is order yet undeciphered.

Offline suelyblu

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2016, 08:00:34 PM »
                                                  ^^
Thanks jeannie. Never thought about putting a "link". Just thought if anyone wanted to read it....they would be able to find it.

Simples !!! :D
"I  know that ghosts have wondered on the earth,
 Be with me always. Take any form. Drive me mad,
 only do not leave me in the dark alone, where I cannot
 find you.
 I cannot live without my life.
 I cannot die without my soul.
                                          .

Offline BlueJeanJeannie

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2016, 02:55:05 AM »
                                                  ^^
Simples !!! :D

 ;)
Chaos is order yet undeciphered.

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2016, 08:22:47 PM »
So when did the DE happen - and why?

Over the years people have argued for:

before FNIT
directly after FNIT (a sort of vertical SNIT, if you will)
some later time before the August night
after the August night

I have my thoughts (which I'll bore you with later) but I'm interested in what other people think.

Online Sara B

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2016, 01:30:26 AM »
My thoughts are a little woolly on this, but I think I go for the 3rd option - when they have become comfortable with each other's bodies (well, up to a point, as far as Ennis is concerned) and before "everything seemed mixed".

Oh, I haven't done 'why' - will have to think more about that...
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs....

Offline royandronnie

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2016, 07:38:02 PM »
My vote is: sometime in August; that is to say, D.
"…in the family homestead of his dead lover, the shirts they wore while cowboying together long before: shabby denim and weary cotton, wrapped in each other's arms." Like this. Always.

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2016, 04:28:33 PM »
My thoughts are a little woolly on this, but I think I go for the 3rd option - when they have become comfortable with each other's bodies (well, up to a point, as far as Ennis is concerned) and before "everything seemed mixed".

Oh, I haven't done 'why' - will have to think more about that...
That would be my choice too, Sara.

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2016, 04:30:45 PM »
My vote is: sometime in August; that is to say, D.
Interesting. I guess I think that the fact that "everything seemed mixed" would tend to push Ennis away from any display of intimacy. How do you see August panning out?

Offline Desecra

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2016, 12:06:11 AM »
I remember there was a poster here years ago who felt that it had to have been before the FNIT - that once they were having sex it would have been too challenging for Ennis (and made it too obvious what was going on).  I liked that argument, but I think it has to be later.  I think if it was before, then the FNIT would draw a line between the time when they were friends who loved each other (and so the DE could happen), and the time when sex had gone and spoilt it all.  I think the growing friendship and that expression of love and the sex have to happening at the same time (which I think is partly why Jack comes back after four years - if the DE had been before the sex, then I think he might believe they couldn't get back to that ... although I'm not clear on that idea).   

I'd agree that it's before the August night, because I think that night and sorting the sheep put Ennis a little more on guard.  But not just after the FNIT, because I feel there had to a period where nothing changed apart from the sex being added in, for Ennis to feel comfortable.  Earlier in August, perhaps. 
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline Ministering angel

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Re: The Dozy Embrace
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2016, 10:40:57 PM »
There's something rather endearing about the idea it was before FNIT but as you say, Des, that means there's a line drawn. The implication would be that Jack was hankering after a pre-FNIT time, i.e. a time when they weren't lovers, but that would turn the story on its head, I think. I'm 100% certain that we are supposed to assume they were true soulmates and lovers caught in a situation where they could never be together the way they should. A pre-FNIT DE throws all the pieces up in the air.

An immediate post-FNIT DE has problems with Jack's knowledge about Ennis's reluctance to be face to face. Jack would have nothing to base that fact on.

Pre-August night, well into the relationship but before everything seems mixed, feels like the right time for me.

Post-August night throws up those problems of reality beginning to creep into Ennis's thinking. There's really no other explanation for his feelings about "everything" unless it harks back to what they are up to. So he spends the night with Jack - deliberately or accidentally - after the previous step forward of the DE, and the heavens open, the wrath of the gods descends, and he's left all mixed up. No way can a DE slip in there, I think.

It feels like a progression, that the DE is Ennis with his guard down, and it all turns out okay so he's happy to sleep over afterwards. (Not that his mind is working that way - he seems to feel his way through most situations rather than think through them, on the mountain at least.)

One thing which I've been half-thinking about again recently is why Jack didn't take advantage of the situation to turn around. I guess this is where his drowsy state helps. I wonder if he would have chanced it if the DE had gone on any longer, or would he have sensed it would be a foolish thing to try? Is it only the drama of the nosebleed which pushes him into that f2f situation?

I'm rambling again.