Samuel Beckett

Biography

Born in Dublin, 1906; died in Paris, 1989.

Samuel Beckett is best known (much to his chagrin, it is said) as the author of the play Waiting for Godot. A legendary recluse, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. He first wrote literary essays and poetry, and then became interested in prose, finally settling on the theatre. The complex works of this author, Irish by birth and French by choice, testify to a writing approach that is marked by rigour and precision. In his plays, books, essays and poems, as well as through his directing for theatre, film and television, Beckett’s vision of humanity was nothing less than a long, gradual process of sinking into oblivion, an existence increasingly bereft of meaning. It gained concrete expression in his most famous plays, Fin de partie (Endgame, 1956) and Happy Days (Oh les beaux jours, 1961); and his most fully realized novels, the trilogy Molloy (Molloy, 1948), Malone meurt (Malone Dies, 1949), and L’Innommable (The Unnamable, 1949); and was taken further in his later works such as Pas (Footfalls, 1976), Soubresauts (Stirrings Still, 1989) and Not I (Pas moi, 1972). Not I, as transposed by Beckett for television, is presented as part of this exhibition.

Exhibition

Samuel Beckett
2007.11.03 - 12.15

When I first read Not I, I burst into tears. The text had an extraordinary emotional impact on me. I immediately felt it should be read very quickly…

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