Lucky and Stupid

LuckyI’m sorry to be once again discussing Lucky’s speech. But I was reading Theatre in Spain, 1490 – 1700 (really good), and I came upon a sentence that talked about the sine qua non of the theater. It means literally “without which not” or more or less “an essential element.”

That means that “qua” means “which” or “as” or “the character of.” Aha!

Lucky’s speech starts:

Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension…

Now it seems pretty obvious what Beckett meant here: a personal God which has the character of a white beard and the character of being outside the bounds of time.

My only question: if this is so obvious, why have I never read anyone discussing it, even as one possible explanation. It could be that it is just too obvious. Or it could be that academics don’t give the word much thought because they don’t have to. And actors don’t give it much thought because they aren’t pedants.

But I feel better now.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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