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SAMUEL BECKETT (1906 – 1989)

Nobel Prize in 1969
He was born in Dublin to a family of middle class Protestants.
He attended the Trinity College where he received a BA in Modern Languages.
Then he moved to Paris where he started teaching English at the école Superieure and he met Joyce. Then he came back to take his Master’s Degree.
He wandered around EU and lived in London, in France and in Germany.
In 1937 he settled in Paris where he remained ever since.
He started publishing poems and also produced an essay on Finnegans Wake and worked as Joyce’s secretary and translator.
From the mid40s he generally wrote in French and translated into English.
He took part to the French Resistance.
According to Esslin, Becket was an exponent of the Theatre of the Absurd, but Becket didn’t want to be labeled as an exponent of it. He refused to explain his work because he wanted to escape any kind of definition. He was elusive.
 His plays reached the English stage in 1955.
So before the revolution: the plays shared
Drawing-room dialogue
The Angry Men wrote what are called the Kitchen-sink drama (different environment)
In Becket’s plays we find tramps and working class people.
Waiting for Godot: had a huge impact.
French première: 1953
English début: 1955
Influences: French existentialism, Irish tradition, black humor, fusion of the tragic and the comedy.

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