Lanford Wilson | Critical Essay by Rudolf Erben

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of Lanford Wilson.
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SOURCE: Erben, Rudolf. “The Western Holdup Play: The Pilgrimage Continues.” Western American Literature 23, no. 4 (February 1989): 311-22.

In the following excerpt, Erben characterizes Wilson's Angels Fall as a comment on the modern American West.

With The Petrified Forest (1935), Robert E. Sherwood introduced to America a new dramatic genre, which we can call the western holdup play. Sherwood's play and the holdup formula have subsequently become the model for such significant western American plays as William Inge's Bus Stop (1955), Mark Medoff's When You Comin Back, Red Ryder? (1973), Lanford Wilson's Angels Fall (1982), and Marsha Norman's The Holdup (1983).

Structurally, the western holdup play builds on an old dramatic convention, known by such diverse names as the “lifeboat” or the “snow-bound” genre. Though obviously contrived and conducive more to thought and talk than action and plot, the formula...

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This section contains 1,295 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Rudolf Erben
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Rudolf Erben from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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