The Cambridge Companion to Sam Shepard (Cambridge Companions by Matthew Roudané

By Matthew Roudané

Few American playwrights have exerted as a lot effect at the modern degree as Sam Shepard. His performs are played "on" and "off" Broadway in addition to in the entire significant neighborhood American theaters. also they are generally played and studied in Europe, rather in Britain, Germany and France, discovering either a favored and a scholarly viewers. This significant other explores a few of the points of Shepard's profession, delivering interesting first-hand debts and monstrous severe chapters at the performs, poetry, song, fiction, appearing, directing and picture paintings.

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Extra resources for The Cambridge Companion to Sam Shepard (Cambridge Companions to Literature)

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50 He has described his participation in a rodeo in the same terms and, indeed, has spoken of the rodeo as having more drama than a hundred plays. What interests him as a writer is taking risks; what compels audiences is much the same. A rodeo is not “about” anything, except a man and a horse, the imminent risk of violence, the skill with which, moment by moment, the rider maintains his balance. It is entirely focused on itself. It is a mythic, an archetypal battle. The audience, meanwhile, responds viscerally.

What interests him as a writer is taking risks; what compels audiences is much the same. A rodeo is not “about” anything, except a man and a horse, the imminent risk of violence, the skill with which, moment by moment, the rider maintains his balance. It is entirely focused on itself. It is a mythic, an archetypal battle. The audience, meanwhile, responds viscerally. Their reaction is physical and emotional. For a brief while they are rooted in something that transcends the moment precisely because it concerns a contest with a history that traces back into myth.

They, too, blend the lyrical and the threatening. Lorca spoke of creating a poetry “that will flow like blood when you cut your wrists, a poetry that has taken leave of reality,”24 as, in his 1996 rewrite of The Tooth of Crime, Shepard has Crow hold out his arm and invite Hoss to slit his wrist, to make him bleed in a work stained with a poetry that takes us beyond the real. Lorca spoke of the “black sounds,”25 the elemental qualities that he sought to articulate. ” It is tempting, indeed, to suggest that Shepard reaches for that same tragic sense of life that is to be found in a writer whose radical politics never obscured his awareness of a deeper current running through human affairs.

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The Cambridge Companion to Sam Shepard (Cambridge Companions by Matthew Roudané
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