Samuel Beckett


[Picture of Samuel Beckett]
Another trait the flat tone. No life. Same flat tone at all times. For its affirmations. For its negations. For its interrogations. For its exclamations. For its imperations. Same flat tone. You were once. You were never. Were you ever? Oh never to have been! Be again. Same flat tone. - from Company

Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906-1989) is one of the great figures of world literature. His plays, novels and other writings are all concerned with human suffering and survival, and the struggle with meaninglessness.

Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. In his writings for the theatre Beckett showed influence of burlesque, vaudeville, the music hall, commedia dell'arte, and the silent-film style of such figures as Keaton and Chaplin.


Fathoms from Anywhere, the University of Texas at Austin’s online Beckett exhibition will be live on April 13th: "The centennial Web exhibition is derived substantially from information and materials in the Center’s renowned Beckett collection ... supplemented by Beckett’s correspondence and a wide range of his writing."

April 2006 is the centenary of Beckett's birth. As you'd expect that means that there are lots of commemorative events going on and lots of articles in the press (for more on the centenary events keep an eye on ReadySteadyBlog). Recent, decent articles include:

  • Banville on Beckett
  • Edna O'Brien on Beckett