Samuel Beckett Biography (1906-1989)

Full name, Samuel Barclay Beckett; born April 13, 1906, in Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland; died of respiratory failure, December 22, 1989, in Paris, France. Educator, playwright, poet, novelist, and short story writer. Beckett was a pivotal figure in the development of modern drama. An assistant to and friend ofIrish expatriate writer James Joyce during the 1930s, he served brief stintsas a language instructor in both France and Dublin and then traveled widely before settling permanently in Paris in 1937. There, Beckett became an activefighter in the French Resistance during World War II. After the war, he devoted most of his time to literary endeavors, experiencing his most prolific andacclaimed phase of creativity during the 1950s. The author's dark and ponderous works, published in both French and English, explore the bleaker aspectsof human existence. Largely remembered as the inspiration for absurdist theater, Beckett is probably best known for his classic 1952 drama Waiting for Godot, about two tramps who wait in vain for the arrival of a savior, and for his introspective, experimental trilogy of novels Molloy, Malone Dies, and TheUnnameable. Other works by the pioneering dramatist include Happy Days and Krapp's Last Tape. Beckett earned the 1969 Nobel Prize for literature for his body of revolutionary plays, verses, novels, and short stories.

playwright, educator, writer
Birth Details
April 13, 1906
Foxrock, Ireland
Death Details
December 22, 1989
Paris, France

Recent Updates

February 16, 2005: Beckett's play Happy Days was produced in New York by the Classic Stage Company. The play was directed by Jeff Cohen. Source: New York Times,, February 16, 2005.February 25, 2005: Beckett's play Endgame was produced in New York by the Irish Repertory Theater. The play was directed by Charlotte Mooreand starred Ton Roberts. Source: New York Times,, February 25, 2005.

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