“we tend to ignore writers who are prolific (for some interesting reasons)” –October 22, 2002

Maybe Mark Winegardner is right that we tend to ignore writers who are prolific (for some interesting reasons). Although Sam Shepard doesn’t exactly fall into that camp, I was wondering why I had put off reading the slender volume of stories, Great Dream of Heaven, that was residing on my bookshelf. Other than the fact that I didn’t have to read it. That is, there is almost no likelihood that I will be talking to Shepard, since he is one of the few authors who just writes and refuses to do any publicity. Of course, that also didn’t explain why I read John Biguenet’s Oyster. A terrific and visceral piece of fiction. Anyway, this digression brought me to a happy realization that I was still able to sever the strictures of obligation and read beyond what I was committed to reading. All of which means that I still read for the fun and the joy of it. Back to Sam Shepard. “The Remedy Man,” “Blinking Eye,” “The Door to Women,” “It Wasn’t Proust” and “Great Dream of Heaven” are everything I read short pieces for. Compact, spare, accurate and, yes, a good story line. Now, back to days of obligation.

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