Litkicks Message Board Archive

Potential ARTICLE: Sam Shepard

Posted to WritersAndGenres




Hi...I guess I'm making an offer to do an article on Shepard if no one else has expressed interest. While alot of his work realized their maturity in the 80's, his earlier plays like Mad Dog City Blues, Suicide in B-flat, and Cowboy Mouth (co-written with Patti Smith) are very important parts of the culture of the late 60's and early 70's. Shepard was intimate with the burgeoning music and art scene of punk rock era NYC in the late 70's and was also part of Bob Dylan's circle of artistic friends of the era, and the cross reference between influences on Shepard and other avant-gard writers of the period are significant. In some sense, Shepard is that strange transitonal figure from one period of art to the next. Much like Bach was a transistion from the Baroque into the classical, and one might consider Rimbaud or Lautreamont the transitional figure from symbolism to surrealism, Shepard really was the transitional figure from what has been termed here The Summer of Love and its subsequent artistic milieu into, probably, the most invigorating and challenging art of the 80's. Simpatico, True West, Curse of the Starving Class, Buried Child were some of the most significant works of American theater ever written and produced on a stage...and who would've thunk-it...it happened in the 80's. Not only that Shepard Motel Chronicle's offer very interestign reflections on this time period Still, just for historically accurate purposes, many of those plays were written and performed in regional theater or off-Broadway or off-off Broadway in the 70's...SO...i hope i've proven my case...if so, I'd love to do an article on, I think, our greatest living dramatist, and an oft-overlooked figure of the American avant-garde in the 70's.