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About Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. He was educated at Portora Royal School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1927. His made his poetry debut in 1930 with Whoroscope and followed it with essays and two novels before World War Two. He wrote one of his most famous plays, Waiting for Godot, in 1949 but it wasn't published in English until 1954. Waiting for Godot brought Beckett international fame and firmly established him as a leading figure in the Theatre of the Absurd. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Beckett continued to write prolifically for radio, TV and the theatre until his death in 1989.
Photo by Roger Pic [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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Titles By Samuel Beckett
The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existential post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.
The present volume gathers all of Beckett's texts for theatre, from 1955 to 1984. It includes both the major dramatic works and the short and more compressed texts for the stage and for radio.
'He believes in the cadence, the comma, the bite of word on reality, whatever else he believes; and his devotion to them, he makes clear, is a sufficient focus for the reader's attention. In the modern history of literature he is a unique moral figure, not a dreamer of rose-gardens but a cultivator of what will grow in the waste land, who can make us see the exhilarating design that thorns and yucca share with whatever will grow anywhere.' - Hugh Kenner
Contents: Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Happy Days, All That Fall, Acts Without Words, Krapp's Last Tape, Roughs for the Theatre, Embers, Roughs for the Radio, Words and Music, Cascando, Play, Film, The Old Tune, Come and Go, Eh Joe, Breath, Not I, That Time, Footfalls, Ghost Trio,...but the clouds..., A Piece of Monologue, Rockaby, Ohio Impromptu, Quad, Catastrophe, Nacht und Traume, What Where.
The two radio plays were commissioned by the BBC; All That Fall plumbs the same pessimistic depths [as Waiting for Godot] in what seems a no less despairing search for human dignity” (London Times), and Embers is equally unforgettable theater, born of the ramblings of an old man and his wife. Finally, in the two pantomimes, Beckett takes drama to the point of pure abstraction with his portrayals of, in Act Without Words I, frustrated desired, and in Act Without Words I, corresponding motions of living juxtaposed in the slow despair of one man and the senselessly busy motion of another.
The quintessential distillation of Beckett’s philosophy on human existence and the ultimate example of his minimalist approach to fiction, Nohow On is a vital collection, concerned with conception and perception, memory and imagination.
A wonderful book, written in the sparest prose. . . . Beckett is one of the rare creative minds in our times.” Alan Pryce-Jones
What is novel is the absolute sureness of design. . . built phrase by phrase into a beautifully and tightly wrought structure a few dozen expressions permuted with deliberate redundancy accumulate meaning even as they are emptied of it, and offer themselves as points of radiation in a strange web of utter illusion.” Hugh Kenner