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Buried Child by Sam Shepard
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Buried Child

by Sam Shepard

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Vintage Shepard, but not as good as Curse of the Starving Class, or A Lie of the Mind, or Fool for Love. ( )
  abensen | Mar 17, 2010 |
I wish Miguel Mota had decided to assign us this instead of True West. Not only because it's better (which, no disrespect to True West, it is), but because it's deeper and richer and puts out more of a sense of existing in a real world. Vince and Shelly walk into this house that joy forgot and sure, everything's going to go insane and Theatre-of-the-Absurd later on, but for the moment, they are emisaries of a real world of grass and light and era-specific cultural references. You can read her as Lydia Lunch or as Patti LaBelle or as Stevie Nicks.


The second thing is that we already read Pinter's The Homecoming, and as far as I can see this is just a lusher, creepier, more interesting take on the same themes: familial hatred; psychosis; sexual betrayal; the betrayal of one's self by one's emotions; basically what the Scientologists would sum up as "bloodsexcrime." But where the Pinter is like a horrible day in a horrible life, this one floats--creepy, ugly, but oneiric. Ludic? Because of the greater feminine presence, with Shelly and Halie? How awful is that?


And hey, the Bradley character is a bracing reminder that we haven't gotten over all our quiet fears about the twisted and damaged, haven't completely separated and sanitized them into the (laudable) recognition of the true bravery and humanity of the disabled. God, sometimes all this play wants is a lobotomy dude in the corner. Tilden?


I read people talking about the breakdown of the American Dream in connection with this story and I think fuck off. The decay of the traditional family? The mortgaging of the future to pay for the present? These are universal human processes and I am so sick of fucking America. Anyway, my students would have gotten a lot out of it. Maybe I'll bring in a passage for to discuss. Also, on stage, this could be devastating. I smell Pulitzer! ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Feb 16, 2010 |
With enough symbolism to keep a literary student happily busy for weeks, Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning play throws you into a surreal world grounded in the decay of the American Dream. The family centered in the drama is dysfunctional, to put it mildly, and is a microcosm of the hopes and eventual destruction of those hopes in America. The action plays out like a combination between American Gothic and Frida Kahlo - based in reality, but little bits here and there remind the audience that they are not in a world structured realistically. Shepard has stunning skills in the way he paints pictures with words. The only gripe is that the motivations of Halie, the matriarch of the family, are never fully developed or explained. Perhaps Shepard's intention was to keep emotions and feelings as buried as the title implies. ( )
  threnodymarch | Jun 15, 2009 |
I don't get the incest metaphors. Or the vegetable metaphors. Or the wooden leg. Or the wooden story. Shepard can do so much better. ( )
  ahovde01 | May 1, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307274977, Paperback)

A newly revised edition of an American classic, Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize—winning Buried Child is as fierce and unforgettable as it was when it was first produced more than twenty-five years ago.

A scene of madness greets Vince and his girlfriend as they arrive at the squalid farmhouse of Vince’s hard-drinking grandparents, who seem to have no idea who he is. Nor does his father, Tilden, a hulking former All-American footballer, or his uncle, who has lost one of his legs to a chain saw. Only the memory of an unwanted child, buried in an undisclosed location, can hope to deliver this family

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:38 -0400)

A newly revised edition of an American classic, Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child is as fierce and unforgettable as it was when it was first produced more than twenty-five years ago. A scene of madness greets Vince and his girlfriend as they arrive at the squalid farmhouse of Vince's hard-drinking grandparents, who seem to have no idea who he is. Nor does his father, Tilden, a hulking former All-American footballer, or his uncle, who has lost one of his legs to a chain saw. Only the memory of an unwanted child, buried in an undisclosed location, can hope to deliver this family."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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