Blood and bones yet dressed in poetry: The drama of Sam Shepard

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Welding subject and form, the opening essay recapitulates with great lyricism Shepard's life and work in an attempt to map the excessive emotional terrain of the playwright's characters: fragmented, traumatized transients ruthlessly given over to incomprehensible, elementally violent passions that relentlessly attract and repel, consuming past and future. Composed with the traces of a reclusive, sensitive yet impetuous father who taught his son a love of poetry and music, and a sixties performance aesthetic, setting great store by immediacy and physical expression but gradually deepened with myth, archetype and costly candour, the emerging portrait is a highly paradoxical one: romantic, contemporaneous and timeless, vibrantly personal and American, showing affinity with the poetic, passion-infused drama of Tennessee Williams and Federico Garcia Lorca.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Theatre Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Father
  • Fragmentation
  • Lorca (Federico Garcia)
  • Myth
  • Performance aesthetics
  • Realistic detail (absence of )
  • Williams (Tennessee)

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