Samuel Beckett - Life Stories, Books, and Links
Biographical Information

Stories about Samuel Beckett

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

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Picture of Samuel Beckett, author of Endgame and Waiting for Godot; twentieth century Irish Literature and drama
Samuel Beckett   (1906 - 1989)
Category:  Irish Literature
Born:  April 13, 1906
Foxrock, County Dublin, Ireland
Died:  December 22, 1989
Paris, France
Related authors:
Alfred Jarry, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, Marcel Proust, William Butler Yeats
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Samuel Beckett - LIFE STORIES
1/5/1953     Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot
On January 5th, 1953 Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot opened in Paris. Its language, said one critic, made it seem as if previous French plays "had been written with quills, not pens"; its plot, said another, was one in which "nothing happens twice." It became the most written-about play of the century, prompting Beckett to say, "Why people have to complicate a thing so simple I can't make out."
4/3/1957     Endgame in London
On this day in 1957 Samuel Beckett's Endgame was first performed in London, in French. Waiting for Godot had premiered in 1953 and become an international sensation, but Beckett could find no one in France willing to risk their theater on a new play which featured one character who could not stand, one who could not sit, and two others unable to come out of their garbage cans.
10/28/1958     Krapp's Last Tape, Beckett's Last Days
On this day in 1958 Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape was first performed. It was one of Beckett's favorites, one so "nicely sad and sentimental" that fans of Waiting For Godot and Endgame were sure to be confused: "It will be like the little heart of an artichoke served before the tripes with excrement of Hamm and Clov. People will say: good gracious, there is blood circulating in the old man's veins after all...."
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Collected Shorter Plays
drama, anthology
The Complete Short Prose, 1929-1989
by Samuel Beckett, S. E. Gontarski (Editor)
poetry, anthology
Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
Waiting for Godot
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Approaches to Teaching Beckett's Waiting for Godot
by June Schlueter (Editor), Enoch Brater (Editor)
education, literary analysis
Beckett before Godot
by John Pilling
Exiled in Paris: Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, and Others on the Left Bank
by James Campbell
literary history
Samuel Beckett
by Gerry Dukes
biography, letters
Samuel Beckett: Photographs
by John Minihan
Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist
by Anthony Cronin
The Cambridge Companion to Beckett
by John Pilling (Editor)
guide, anthology
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Guardian Unlimited Books
Offers biographical information and articles on Waiting for Godot, Beckett's life, and other subjects. Includes the memoirs of Peter Hall, who directed the inaugural production of Godot in Paris ("It looked as if the play would have to close at the end of the week, but I begged the theatre owner to wait for the Sunday notices. Perhaps Godot would come, though frankly it didn't seem very likely."), and an examination of the originality of Beckett's works:

"The tragedy of living a meaningless life, and being quickly forgotten at the end of it, has been so beautifully projected in Beckett's work that it has become accepted by most of his readers and audience and, paradoxically, gives much comfort. It takes any guilt out of failure, which is the inevitable fate of us all. Beckett makes it clear that the only comfort, short-lived but real, has to be in shared experience: there is always someone worse off to comfort, misery is bearable if shared, and good times and the everyday pleasures of the world can be enjoyed more intensely with the knowledge that everything is shortlived."
Literary Encyclopedia
Find a biography and commentary on Waiting for Godot, Molloy, Endgame, and Stirrings Still . Promises future essays on Comment C'est (How It Is), Company, Ohio Impromptu, and other works.

"His work has been described by himself and others as an art of impoverishment, an art of failure. Far from meaning that his stories, novels and plays are nihilistic, pessimistic and depressing, this description rather refers to Beckett's lifelong suspicion of the tools of cultural competency which the 20th Century inherited from liberal humanist constructions of human self-identity. ... Once the accretions of class, nationality, education, gender and culture have been stripped away by the technical art of 'indigence' and the poetry of a physical and psychical vagrancy, the remaining consciousness recorded by Beckett's texts is left with the capacity of unconditioned witnessing."
Samuel Beckett Resources and Links
Collection of links to biographies, reviews, and literary criticism and analysis.
Samuel Beckett, 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature
Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation." Visit the official Nobel website for a chronology of Beckett's life accomplishments, his Nobel Diploma, and other resources.
The Samuel Beckett End Page
Offers a biography, images, and links to online resources about Beckett and connected authors (including James Joyce, Marcel Proust, J. M. Synge, and W. B. Yeats).
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February 23, 2018
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