Memory and Mind: Sam Shepard’s Geography of a Horse Dreamer

  • Gerry McCarthy


Shepard is a master of theatrical imagination; and to an audience schooled in the predominant American realism, he may seem a magician, or even a priest. Yet he is, in the fullest sense of the term, a stage dramatist with an extraordinary instinct for the imaginative modalities of the theatre. Shepard is not a visionary, but an artist concerned with ways of seeing and being within theatrical space and time.


Memory Experience Mental Experience Conscious Mind Dramatic Play Imaginative Modality 
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  1. 1.
    Sam Shepard, quoted in American Dreams: The Imagination of Sam Shepard, ed. Bonnie Marranca (New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1981), p. 197.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (London: Penguin, 1981), p. 197.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sam Shepard, Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon (London: Faber, 1985), pp. 185–86.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Laurence Olivier, On Acting (London: Sceptre, 1986), pp. 117–18.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    ‘It was during the run of The Merchant that I suffered badly from the actor’s nightmare — stage fright. I wonder if that had anything to do with my performance becoming fresh, open and naked again? It’s always possible’. Ibid., p. 113.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sam Shepard, Angel City and Other Plays (London: Faber, 1976), p. 136. All quotations are from this edition; page numbers are given in the text.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gerry McCarthy, ‘“Acting it Out”: Sam Shepard’s Action’, in Modern Drama 24, no. 1 (March 1981), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 11.
    Sam Shepard, Buried Child, Seduced, and Suicide in B b (London: Faber, 1980), pp. 79–80.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Sam Shepard, Geography of a Horse Dreamer in Four Two-Act Plays, (London: Faber, 1981), pp. 126–27. All quotations are from this edition; page numbers are given in the text.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerry McCarthy

There are no affiliations available

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