13 April 2019

13th April 1906 - Samuel Beckett Born


Samuel Beckett was born on April 13th 1906. He was an under achiever at school who enjoyed sport. He wasted the first 2 years at University where he found the lectures a waste of time. But found his love of foreign languages in the third year and did well in finals.

He loved French, moved to France, and started writing. But what he wrote was not exactly what publishers could sell. His works followed the themes of alienation, existentialism, emptiness and searching.

He wrote a novel called Murphy (1938) relating the story of a character in a mental hospital. This was after his own experience. His dad died in 1933 and he began to experience panic attacks and depression, and eventually went for psychoanalysis to try and find his way through.

Beckett worked for the French resistance during the war. This included waiting in strange places for messages that never came.

Then he turned his hand to writing plays first in French, then translated into English. His first play Waiting for Godot was a great critical success. It is a play where two tramps are waiting in a forlorn landscape for somebody called Godot who never comes. He wrote other less well known plays.

Becket was awarded the Nobel Literature prize in 1969. His partner said this is a catastrophe. She knew how much Becket hated being in public. His literary agent collected the prize and Becket gave the money to a good cause.

Becket wrote We are all born mad, some remain so

and

You're on the earth. There's no cure for that

and

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Thanks to Wikipedia 13th April for the day, and random readings for what is written here.

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