Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence Essay

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Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence
Patrick Richert
February 15, 2013

Samuel Beckett was a world renown author of poetry, novels, and theatrical plays. He was born in Ireland and spent much of his adult life in Paris. His works were primarily written in French, and then translated, many times by the author himself, into English. He is known for creating works of dark comedy, and absurdism, and later in his career a minimalist.
Due to his late start as an author, he is considered one of the last modernists, along with his good friend and mentor James Joyce.
Samuel Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, and was upset by the selection, claiming that James Joyce should have won it. For this reason he
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James Joyce came to his friend’s side, assigning his personal doctor to care for Beckett. He met his assailant later, who claimed that he did not know why he stabbed Beckett, and said that he was sorry. It was an absurd exchange, to be sure, and many often wonder how much it inspired the young author. During his convalescence, Beckett was cared for by Suzanne Descheveaux-Dumesnil, and she became his lifelong companion, helping him Beckett publish his works, and also shielding him from the prying public. It was not until 1961 that the two married.
During the years of WW II, Beckett joined the resistance in France, and although he was dismissive of his involvement, the group he was involved with was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1945.
His period from the end of WWII through the 1950’s is his most prolific, and successful period, where he perfected his style, and wrote his famous books, (although he argued were not a trilogy) Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unamable. Also, he wrote perhaps his best known work, Waiting for Godot.
He continued his playwriting in the 1950’s and 60’s , where his minimalist style brought fame and curiosity. His worldwide acclaim growing, until 1969, when he was awarded The Nobel Prize for Literature. His reaction in true Absurd style “Quelle catastrophe!" He thought his friend James Joyce should have won the award, and gave the award money to charities, and needy writers.
He ultimately passed away on December
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