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Samuel Beckett 1906 - 1989
Existentialist, eccentric Samuel Beckett painted his masterful, esoteric plays
with a palette of anguish, ennui, and futility, generating a body of work encompassing
several of the greatest dramatic classics of the century.
The Dublin-born Beckett, a contemporary and former secretary of James
Joyce, quickly left small-minded Ireland after attending Trinity
College, fleeing for the fertile artistic community of Paris bohemian
Montparnasse district, ground zero of some of the most significant aesthetic,
philosophical, and artistic movements of the modern era.
Following time spent in the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of
France, Beckett settled back in Paris in the late 1940s, embarking on the most
productive period of his writing career. Curiously, from this point onward he
composed all his works in his adopted French, as it afforded him a degree of
discipline and economy that writing in English could not.
Always a moody, solitary individual, Becketts plays, novels, and stories
reflected his interest in the dark side of the human condition, focusing on
themes of alienation, hopelessness, and absurdity. His masterpiece, Waiting
for Godot, was performed in Paris, New York, and London during the years
1953 1955, to wide critical acclaim.
Ever a recluse, Beckett was not in attendance when he was awarded the Nobel
Prize for Literature in 1969. This quiet, taciturn dramatic genius died in 1989