May 25, 2024
Ghiasuddin Alizadeh

Ghiasuddin Alizadeh

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
Education: Ph.D in English Literature
Faculty: Literature and Human Sciences


Title Fantastic Narrative Spaces in Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind
Type Article
Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind, Marie-Laure Ryan, Patricia García, possible worlds theory, impossible narrative spaces, postmodern fantastic drama
Journal Humanities Diliman: A Philippine Journal of Humanities
Researchers Ghiasuddin Alizadeh


A Lie of the Mind (1985) is arguably one of Sam Shepard’s most complex family plays. It displays Shepard’s experiments with a fluid use of stage space and storytelling that is visually quite uncanny. In this study, we will attempt to shed light on the impossible along with the possible worlds projected in a textual fictional world in Shepard’s play. Also examined are the “narrative spaces” and the “impossible/fantastic spaces” constructed in the play. Deploying Marie-Laure Ryan’s views on space and possible worlds and Patricia García’s model of space and its transgressions, we analyze space in the play, by and large, from two distinct perspectives: 1) the environment in which narrative is physically set up, or, to put it another way, as the medium in which narrative as a storyworld is projected and appreciated, and 2) the fantastic postmodern dramas that picture impossibilities. By deconstructing objective mapping, we argue that A Lie of the Mind’s postmodern mapping aims to critique the earlier belief in claims of “truth of space” and tries to construct a totally subjective reality or architecture which summons the reader’s mental activity to picture such a reality.