|Birth Day:||April 13, 1906|
|Death Date:||Dec 22, 1989 (age 83)|
|Birth Place:||Foxrock, Ireland|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Samuel Beckett died on Dec 22, 1989 (age 83).
As a boy, he was a skilled athlete, and he went on to play cricket for Trinity College, Dublin. He began his writing career by publishing critical studies of the works of James Joyce and Marcel Proust.
In 1919/1920, Beckett went to Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh (which Oscar Wilde had also attended). He left three years later, in 1923 and entered Trinity College, Dublin where he studied modern literature. A natural athlete, Beckett excelled at cricket as a left-handed batsman and a left-arm medium-pace bowler. Later, he was to play for Dublin University and played two first-class games against Northamptonshire. As a result, he became the only Nobel literature laureate to have played first-class cricket.
Beckett studied French, Italian, and English at Trinity College Dublin from 1923 to 1927 (one of his tutors was the Berkeley scholar A. A. Luce, who introduced him to the work of Henri Bergson). He was elected a Scholar in Modern Languages in 1926. Beckett graduated with a BA and, after teaching briefly at Campbell College in Belfast, took up the post of lecteur d'anglais at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris from November 1928 to 1930. While there, he was introduced to renowned Irish author James Joyce by Thomas MacGreevy, a poet and close confidant of Beckett who also worked there. This meeting had a profound effect on the young man. Beckett assisted Joyce in various ways, one of which was research towards the book that became Finnegans Wake.
In 1929, Beckett published his first work, a critical essay entitled "Dante... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce". The essay defends Joyce's work and method, chiefly from allegations of wanton obscurity and dimness, and was Beckett's contribution to Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress (a book of essays on Joyce which also included contributions by Eugene Jolas, Robert McAlmon, and William Carlos Williams). Beckett's close relationship with Joyce and his family cooled, however, when he rejected the advances of Joyce's daughter Lucia owing to her progressing schizophrenia. Beckett's first short story, "Assumption", was published in Jolas's periodical transition. The next year he won a small literary prize for his hastily composed poem "Whoroscope", which draws on a biography of René Descartes that Beckett happened to be reading when he was encouraged to submit.
In 1930, Beckett returned to Trinity College as a lecturer. In November 1930, he presented a paper in French to the Modern Languages Society of Trinity on the Toulouse poet Jean du Chas, founder of a movement called le Concentrisme. It was a literary parody, for Beckett had in fact invented the poet and his movement that claimed to be "at odds with all that is clear and distinct in Descartes". Beckett later insisted that he had not intended to fool his audience. When Beckett resigned from Trinity at the end of 1931, his brief academic career was at an end. He commemorated it with the poem "Gnome", which was inspired by his reading of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and eventually published in The Dublin Magazine in 1934:
Beckett's 1930 essay Proust was strongly influenced by Schopenhauer's pessimism and laudatory descriptions of saintly asceticism. At this time Beckett began to write creatively in the French language. In the late 1930s, he wrote a number of short poems in that language and their sparseness—in contrast to the density of his English poems of roughly the same period, collected in Echo's Bones and Other Precipitates (1935)—seems to show that Beckett, albeit through the medium of another language, was in process of simplifying his style, a change also evidenced in Watt.
Beckett travelled throughout Europe. He spent some time in London, where in 1931 he published Proust, his critical study of French author Marcel Proust. Two years later, following his father's death, he began two years' treatment with Tavistock Clinic psychoanalyst Dr. Wilfred Bion. Aspects of it became evident in Beckett's later works, such as Watt and Waiting for Godot. In 1932, he wrote his first novel, Dream of Fair to Middling Women, but after many rejections from publishers decided to abandon it (it was eventually published in 1992). Despite his inability to get it published, however, the novel served as a source for many of Beckett's early poems, as well as for his first full-length book, the 1933 short-story collection More Pricks Than Kicks.
In 1935—the year that he successfully published a book of his poetry, Echo's Bones and Other Precipitates—Beckett worked on his novel Murphy. In May, he wrote to MacGreevy that he had been reading about film and wished to go to Moscow to study with Sergei Eisenstein at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. In mid-1936 he wrote to Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin to offer himself as their apprentice. Nothing came of this, however, as Beckett's letter was lost owing to Eisenstein's quarantine during the smallpox outbreak, as well as his focus on a script re-write of his postponed film production. In 1936, a friend had suggested he look up the works of Arnold Geulincx, which Beckett did and he took many notes. The philosopher's name is mentioned in Murphy and the reading apparently left a strong impression. Murphy was finished in 1936 and Beckett departed for extensive travel around Germany, during which time he filled several notebooks with lists of noteworthy artwork that he had seen and noted his distaste for the Nazi savagery that was overtaking the country. Returning to Ireland briefly in 1937, he oversaw the publication of Murphy (1938), which he translated into French the following year. He fell out with his mother, which contributed to his decision to settle permanently in Paris. Beckett remained in Paris following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, preferring, in his own words, "France at war to Ireland at peace". His was soon a known face in and around Left Bank cafés, where he strengthened his allegiance with Joyce and forged new ones with artists Alberto Giacometti and Marcel Duchamp, with whom he regularly played chess. Sometime around December 1937, Beckett had a brief affair with Peggy Guggenheim, who nicknamed him "Oblomov" (after the character in Ivan Goncharov's novel).
In January 1938 in Paris, Beckett was stabbed in the chest and nearly killed when he refused the solicitations of a notorious pimp (who went by the name of Prudent). Joyce arranged a private room for Beckett at the hospital. The publicity surrounding the stabbing attracted the attention of Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil, who knew Beckett slightly from his first stay in Paris. This time, however, the two would begin a lifelong companionship. At a preliminary hearing, Beckett asked his attacker for the motive behind the stabbing. Prudent replied: "Je ne sais pas, Monsieur. Je m'excuse" ["I do not know, sir. I'm sorry"]. Beckett eventually dropped the charges against his attacker—partially to avoid further formalities, partly because he found Prudent likeable and well-mannered.
After the Nazi German occupation of France in 1940, Beckett joined the French Resistance, in which he worked as a courier. On several occasions over the next two years he was nearly caught by the Gestapo. In August 1942, his unit was betrayed and he and Suzanne fled south on foot to the safety of the small village of Roussillon, in the Vaucluse département in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. There he continued to assist the Resistance by storing armaments in the back yard of his home. During the two years that Beckett stayed in Roussillon he indirectly helped the Maquis sabotage the German army in the Vaucluse mountains, though he rarely spoke about his wartime work in later life.
Beckett was awarded the Croix de guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance by the French government for his efforts in fighting the German occupation; to the end of his life, however, Beckett would refer to his work with the French Resistance as "boy scout stuff". While in hiding in Roussillon, he continued work on the novel Watt (begun in 1941 and completed in 1945, but not published until 1953, though an extract had appeared in the Dublin literary periodical Envoy).
In 1945, Beckett returned to Dublin for a brief visit. During his stay, he had a revelation in his mother's room: his entire future direction in literature appeared to him. Beckett had felt that he would remain forever in the shadow of Joyce, certain to never beat him at his own game. His revelation prompted him to change direction and to acknowledge both his own stupidity and his interest in ignorance and impotence:
Beckett's career as a writer can be roughly divided into three periods: his early works, up until the end of World War II in 1945; his middle period, stretching from 1945 until the early 1960s, during which he wrote what are probably his best-known works; and his late period, from the early 1960s until Beckett's death in 1989, during which his works tended to become shorter and his style more minimalist.
In 1946, Jean-Paul Sartre’s magazine Les Temps modernes published the first part of Beckett's short story "Suite" (later to be called "La Fin", or "The End"), not realising that Beckett had only submitted the first half of the story; Simone de Beauvoir refused to publish the second part. Beckett also began to write his fourth novel, Mercier et Camier, which was not published until 1970. The novel presaged his most famous work, the play Waiting for Godot, which was written not long afterwards. More importantly, the novel was Beckett's first long work that he wrote in French, the language of most of his subsequent works which were strongly supported by Jérôme Lindon, director of his Parisian publishing house Les Éditions de Minuit, including the poioumenon "trilogy" of novels: Molloy (1951); Malone meurt (1951), Malone Dies (1958); L'innommable (1953), The Unnamable (1960). Despite being a native English speaker, Beckett wrote in French because—as he himself claimed—it was easier for him thus to write "without style".
Blin's knowledge of French theatre and vision alongside Beckett knowing what he wanted the play to represent contributed greatly to its success. In a much-quoted article, the critic Vivian Mercier wrote that Beckett "has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. What's more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice." The play was published in 1952 and premièred in 1953 in Paris; an English translation was performed two years later. The play was a critical, popular, and controversial success in Paris. It opened in London in 1955 to mainly negative reviews, but the tide turned with positive reactions from Harold Hobson in The Sunday Times and, later, Kenneth Tynan. After the showing in Miami, the play became extremely popular, with highly successful performances in the US and Germany. The play is a favourite: it is not only performed frequently but has globally inspired playwrights to emulate it. This is the sole play the manuscript of which Beckett never sold, donated or gave away. He refused to allow the play to be translated into film but did allow it to be played on television.
Beckett bought some land in 1953 near a hamlet around 60 kilometres (40 mi) northeast of Paris and built a cottage for himself with the help of some locals.
Beckett translated all of his works into English himself, with the exception of Molloy, for which he collaborated with Patrick Bowles. The success of Waiting for Godot opened up a career in theatre for its author. Beckett went on to write successful full-length plays, including Fin de partie (Endgame) (1957), Krapp's Last Tape (1958, written in English), Happy Days (1961, also written in English), and Play (1963). In 1961, Beckett received the International Publishers' Formentor Prize in recognition of his work, which he shared that year with Jorge Luis Borges.
The 1960s were a time of change for Beckett, both on a personal level and as a writer. In 1961, he married Suzanne in a secret civil ceremony in England (its secrecy due to reasons relating to French inheritance law). The success of his plays led to invitations to attend rehearsals and productions around the world, leading eventually to a new career as a theatre director. In 1957, he had his first commission from the BBC Third Programme for a radio play, All That Fall. He continued writing sporadically for radio and extended his scope to include cinema and television. He began to write in English again, although he also wrote in French until the end of his life.
Jack MacGowran was the first actor to do a one-man show based on the works of Beckett. He debuted End of Day in Dublin in 1962, revising it as Beginning To End (1965). The show went through further revisions before Beckett directed it in Paris in 1970; MacGowran won the 1970–1971 Obie for Best Performance By an Actor when he performed the show off-Broadway as Jack MacGowran in the Works of Samuel Beckett. Beckett wrote the radio play Embers and the teleplay Eh Joe specifically for MacGowran. The actor also appeared in various productions of Waiting for Godot and Endgame, and did several readings of Beckett's plays and poems on BBC Radio; he also recorded the LP, MacGowran Speaking Beckett for Claddagh Records in 1966.
Billie Whitelaw worked with Beckett for 25 years on such plays as Not I, Eh Joe, Footfalls and Rockaby. She first met Beckett in 1963. In her autobiography Billie Whitelaw...: Who He?, she describes their first meeting in 1963 as "trust at first sight". Beckett went on to write many of his experimental theatre works for her. She came to be regarded as his muse, the "supreme interpreter of his work", perhaps most famous for her role as the mouth in Not I. She said of the play Rockaby: "I put the tape in my head. And I sort of look in a particular way, but not at the audience. Sometimes as a director Beckett comes out with absolute gems and I use them a lot in other areas. We were doing Happy Days and I just did not know where in the theatre to look during this particular section. And I asked, and he thought for a bit and then said, 'Inward' ". She said of her role in Footfalls: "I felt like a moving, musical Edvard Munch painting and, in fact, when Beckett was directing Footfalls he was not only using me to play the notes but I almost felt that he did have the paintbrush out and was painting." "Sam knew that I would turn myself inside out to give him what he wanted", she explained. "With all of Sam's work, the scream was there, my task was to try to get it out." She stopped performing his plays in 1989 when he died.
In October 1969 while on holiday in Tunis with Suzanne, Beckett heard that he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Anticipating that her intensely private husband would be saddled with fame from that moment on, Suzanne called the award a "catastrophe". While Beckett did not devote much time to interviews, he sometimes met the artists, scholars, and admirers who sought him out in the anonymous lobby of the Hotel PLM St. Jacques in Paris near his Montparnasse home. Although Beckett was an intensely private man, a review of the second volume of his letters by Roy Foster on 15 December 2011 issue of The New Republic reveals Beckett to be not only unexpectedly amiable but frequently prepared to talk about his work and the process behind it.
The German director Walter D. Asmus began his working relationship with Beckett in the Schiller Theatre in Berlin in 1974 and continued until 1989, the year of the playwright's death. Asmus has directed all of Beckett's plays internationally.
In 1983, the Samuel Beckett Award was established for writers who, in the opinion of a committee of critics, producers and publishers, showed innovation and excellence in writing for the performing arts. In 2003, The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust was formed to support the showcasing of new innovative theatre at the Barbican Centre in the City of London.
Suzanne died on 17 July 1989. Confined to a nursing home and suffering from emphysema and possibly Parkinson's disease, Beckett died on 22 December. The two were interred together in the cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris and share a simple granite gravestone that follows Beckett's directive that it should be "any colour, so long as it's grey".
Some of the best-known pictures of Beckett were taken by photographer John Minihan, who photographed him between 1980 and 1985 and developed such a good relationship with the writer that he became, in effect, his official photographer. Some consider one of these to be among the top three photographs of the 20th century. It was the theatre photographer John Haynes, however, who took possibly the most widely reproduced image of Beckett: it is used on the cover of the Knowlson biography, for instance. This portrait was taken during rehearsals of the San Quentin Drama Workshop at the Royal Court Theatre in London, where Haynes photographed many productions of Beckett's work. An Post, the Irish postal service, issued a commemorative stamp of Beckett in 1994. The Central Bank of Ireland launched two Samuel Beckett Centenary commemorative coins on 26 April 2006: €10 Silver Coin and €20 Gold Coin.
Historians interested in tracing Beckett's blood line were, in 2004, granted access to confirmed trace samples of his DNA to conduct molecular genealogical studies to facilitate precise lineage determination.
On 10 December 2009, the new bridge across the River Liffey in Dublin was opened and named the Samuel Beckett Bridge in his honour. Reminiscent of a harp on its side, it was designed by the celebrated Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who had also designed the James Joyce Bridge situated further upstream and opened on Bloomsday (16 June) 2003. Attendees at the official opening ceremony included Beckett's niece Caroline Murphy, his nephew Edward Beckett, poet Seamus Heaney and Barry McGovern. The newest ship of the Irish Naval Service, the LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61), is named for Beckett. An Ulster History Circle blue plaque in his memory is located at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
From the late 1950s until his death, Beckett had a relationship with Barbara Bray, a widow who worked as a script editor for the BBC. Knowlson wrote of them: "She was small and attractive, but, above all, keenly intelligent and well-read. Beckett seems to have been immediately attracted by her and she to him. Their encounter was highly significant for them both, for it represented the beginning of a relationship that was to last, in parallel with that with Suzanne, for the rest of his life." Barbara Bray died in Edinburgh on 25 February 2010.
Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival is an annual multi-arts festival celebrating the work and influence of Beckett. The festival, founded in 2011, is held at Enniskillen, Northern Ireland where Beckett spent his formative years studying at Portora Royal School.
In January 2019 Beckett was the subject of the BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time.
Samuel was born in Dublin, Ireland to William Frank Beckett and Maria Jones Roe. In 1961, he married a French woman named Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil, and he also had a long-lasting affair with BBC editor Barbara Bray.
Currently, Samuel Beckett is 114 years, 10 months and 21 days old. Samuel Beckett will celebrate 115th birthday on a Tuesday 13th of April 2021. Below we countdown to Samuel Beckett upcoming birthday.
Happy 114th Birthday Samuel Beckett
Today is the 114th birthday of the playwright Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot was a big read one summer at Interlochen, it went around my group of friends like a head cold. It was great. I sho…