Athol Fugard Issue
Twentieth Century Literature, Winter 1993, by Craig W. McLuckie. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0403/is_n4_v39/ai_16087648/pg_5/?tag=content;col1 [Accessed: 2011/02/21.
As the substantive body of criticism about Samuel Beckett's theatre attests, it is difficult not to impose a variety of contexts onto his work.(1) Athol Fugard's theatre, alternatively, restricts and focuses one's perceptions so that it is difficult to see more than a single context. More simply put, an audience reads its world into Waiting for Godot, while it reads another world out of Boesman and Lena. The authors' respective uses of absurdity have led to this state of affairs.
Boesman and Lena is as explicit a title as Waiting for Godot. In the latter title, as numerous others have pointed out, unidentified individuals are waiting for God. Control of the individual's fate is placed outside his/her hands into those of a deity; human responsibility is diminished. Others have offered less useful biographical interpretations: Godot is named after a French cyclist, or is the French slang word for boot (Bair 382). While offering an additional dimension to the punning that Beckett indulges in, these latter correlations are not particularly useful for those seeking to explicate the play. Beckett has insisted that the meaning of the title is unimportant (Bair 382). Flippancy, mischievousness, or authorial right may be invoked to explain or support Beckett's position, but the play is an act of communication, a dramatic utterance, which begins with a statement of import. The gerund "waiting" in Beckett's title alerts the reader/audience to the fact that if the communicative act is to mean anything, if grammar means anything, the state of waiting is both subject and action of Beckett's play. What does it mean to wait; what is it like to wait? The prepositional phrase that completes the title specifies whom (or what)