May 25, 2024
Omid Amani

Omid Amani

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


Title Unnatural narratives in Sam Shepard's Mad Dog Blues
Type Article
Sam Shepard’s Mad Dog Blues · Jan Alber · Unnatural narratives · Cognitive poetics · Possible worlds · Postmodernism
Journal Neohelicon
Researchers Omid Amani


The main focus of this article is the term "unnatural" in a narratological analysis of Sam Shepard's Mad Dog Blues (1971) in the light of 'possible worlds' theory. The term is recently coined and, in Jan Alber's definition, designates those physically, logically, and even humanly impossible scenarios and events-according to the cog-nitive model of possible worlds-that challenge our real world knowledge. Mad Dog Blues is deemed to be one of the most complicated, fast-moving, and vividly imaginative but also obscure and puzzling of Shepard's plays. The play in postmodern-ist fashion teems with a simultaneous collage-like collection of different types of unnatural narratives and storyworlds. It starts with a self-reflexive postmodern list; confronts us with unnatural characters; deconstructs our real-world knowledge about time and temporal progress; and presents us with impossible spaces. The analysis of the play in this essay is based on Jan Alber's reading strategies which are meant to naturalize the play's unnatural narratives.