Samuel Beckett

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Samuel Beckett

Born

4/13/1906, Foxrock, County Dublin, Ireland

Died

12/22/1989

Birth Name

Samuel Barclay Beckett

Gender

Male
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User Rating
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Biography

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Samuel Beckett was a 20th century Irish author, playwright and poet who wrote in French as well as in English. A student and friend of the novelist James Joyce, he inspired many later writers and is sometimes referred to as one of the leaders of the Theatre of…more

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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • As well as his famous plays, Beckett also wrote novels, including Malloy (1951), Malone Dies (1951), The Unnamable (1953), and Mercier et Camier (written 1946, published 1974).

    • He was born on Good Friday.

    • Although his mother tongue was English, all of Beckett's major works were first written in French.

    • Between 1923 and 1927, Beckett studied French, Italian, and English at Trinity College, Dublin, where one of his tutors was the professor of philosophy A. A. Luce.

    • As a young man, Beckett was a first class cricketer. He was a left-handed opening batsman and also a medium-pace bowler.

    • In 1938, Beckett was stabbed in the chest by a Paris pimp called Prudent and was nearly killed. However, at Prudent's committal hearing Beckett took a liking to him and decided to drop all charges.

    • After the German occupation of France in 1940, Beckett became a courier for the French Resistance. In 1942, he was betrayed and fled on foot to the Cote d'Azur, where he continued his Resistance work.

    • In 1984, Beckett was elected Saoi (an Irish word meaning "wise one") of Aosdána, an association of creative artists which is based in Dublin.

    • In 1999, in a British Royal National Theatre poll of eight hundred playwrights, actors, directors and journalists, Beckett's Waiting for Godot was voted "the most significant English language play of the 20th century".

    • He is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris, where his grave-stone of granite complies with his instruction that it should be "any colour, so long as it's grey."

    • He went to Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, which was also the old school of Oscar Wilde.

    • Beckett received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.

  • Quotes

    • Samuel Beckett: Words are all we have.

    • Samuel Beckett: What do I know of man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.

    • Samuel Beckett: They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.

    • Samuel Beckett: The tears of the world are a constant quality. For each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.

    • Samuel Beckett: Nothing matters but the writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile.

    • Samuel Beckett: No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found.

    • Samuel Beckett: Let me go to hell, that's all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.

    • Samuel Beckett: Just under the surface I shall be, all together at first, then separate and drift, through all the earth and perhaps in the end through a cliff into the sea, something of me. A ton of worms in an acre, that is a wonderful thought, a ton of worms, I believe it.

    • Samuel Beckett: James Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. I am an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as I can.

    • Samuel Beckett: I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.

    • Samuel Beckett: I write about myself with the same pencil and in the same exercise book as about him. It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning.

    • Samuel Beckett: Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.

    • Samuel Beckett: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Samuel Beckett: Do we mean love, when we say love?

    • Samuel Beckett: I cannot explain my plays. Each must find out for himself what is meant.