One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to read as many classic westerns as possible, starting with Shane. It may be a sign that I spent too much time in college in late night discussions of Quentin Tarantino movies, but I am seeing homoeroticism everywhere. I am only halfway through this book, which deserves a more thorough posting, but I am really shocked by what I see. At first I was a bit taken aback at the long, languid, loving descriptions that the narrator gives of Shane, from his dapper clothes to his lean, taught body. Shane then goes on to pluck a flowers from the garden before proceeding to discuss ladies fashions with a ranchers wife. In the next chapter Shane and the rancher go out into the field, take off their shirts, and get to work on a stubbornly erect stump. Much of the chapter is devoted to the men working up a sweat as they silently gaze into each other’s eyes, ignoring the rancher’s wife who desperately wants to be let in on their manful activities.
“Shane, opposite him, stiffened, and together they pushed in a fresh assault…Father climbed slowly out of the hole…Shane was with him, across from him, laying a hand gently on the old hard wood. They both looked up and their eyes met and held as they had so long ago in the morning hours.”