What is a Gettier case? It is an epistemological problem, where a subject only knows something because he is lucky enough to have coincidence on his side. Tony Kushner was unwittingly the benefactor of this case when he wrote, Homebody Kabul. Or was he as unwitting as he thought?
Our homebody, a wife who is in love with the world, “Oh I love the world! I love love love love the world!” (Kushner pg 12), is not really in love with her life. Her marriage is empty, and she feels that anything outside her current world will fill the empty space she has made for herself. This very long monologue is full of voice that veritably drips with emotion.
Kushner has played a joker, and has profited from it. Was he really playing a Joker, or did he have something up his sleeve? It seems almost too good to be true that a political playwriter creates a play that both captures the Afghanistan conflict and the conflict that has arisen on our home soil: Our own homes. I believe that Kushner could see that Afghanistan was ripe for a conflict, and would be the perfect place for our Homebody to explore in so many ways. Being a political writer, Kushner might have been more in touch with the current of politics than others, but since he was writing a play about a woman rather than a war-torn country at first, he unconsciously tapped into what was really about to happen.
In an interview, he admits that this work of his was unconscious, but after looking at it in retrospect, he sees how perfect it is that a British family, the colonial, and post-colonial gem of culture was really not as polished as it should be. This is in contrast to the world and culture of Afghanistan. Hats are important here, since hats can transform a regular person into anything. It is no mistake then that the shopkeeper becomes her escape. (by the way, keep hats on your mind as you head into Far Away.)
It is through the connecting with the unconscious communal mind of English wives, and the events of Afghanistan that Kushner creates a hit that is more relevant to the times than he had originally thought. By pure luck is Kushner able to push his talent to the next level and speak in a voice that everyone was silently thinking to themselves in England and in Afghanistan.
Kushner, Tony. Homebody/Kabul. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2002.
Rose, Charlie, and Kushner, Tony, Interview. Charlierose.com. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/2771
Siue.edu. Firdous Bamji and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Khwaja Aziz, Esperanto poet and guide, and Priscilla Ceiling, sitting in the ruins of Cheshme KhedreStock Photo.http://www.siue.edu/~ejoy/Homebody%20Kabul%20image.jpg