The Embodied Apophaticism of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul

Claire Maria Chambers
2017 Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism  
Tony Kushner's 1997 play Homebody/Kabul tells a story of an English woman who decides to leave her cozy London flat, travel to Kabul and marry a Muslim. Her English husband and daughter follow her to Afghanistan only to fall victim to all kinds of cultural misunderstandings. The play, staging multiple dislocations on personal, cultural and linguistic levels, presents characters forced to inhabit a foreign and hostile culture which they cannot describe, comprehend and, eventually, survive. By
more » ... lly, survive. By placing his protagonists in an entirely different cultural milieu from the one they were brought up in, Kushner creates a possibility for investigating the impact of cultural difference. The play dramatizes subversive power of ordinary words and everyday activities which assume disruptive potential when confronted with a foreign culture. Ultimately, Kushner's idea is to present the Western mind and identity as cultural constructs which are very difficult to transgress and negotiate.
doi:10.1353/dtc.2017.0021 fatcat:5duoo7qtg5g3ndu4qtpp4bw4zu