Page 1 of 8

Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence

Continues for 7 more pages »
Read full document

Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence

Page 1 of 8
Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence
Patrick Richert
FHSU
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 gave most of the 70,000 dollar prize to charities.

His Life
Beckett was born to a well off Protestant family in Dublin, Ireland, and matched much of the pursuits that this affluence predicted. He excelled as a pianist, in track, boxing, tennis, and most notably in Cricket. He still stands as the only Nobel Laureate with a listing in Wisden’s Cricketers Almanack, considered the oldest running sports publication in the world. Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, a date reported by Beckett himself. Beckett also claims that this is not entirely accurate, as he has recollection of being in his mother’s womb. The legal system refutes this even further, with legal documents reporting his birth a month later. As he grew older, Beckett turned more and more towards academia, and enrolled in Trinity College at the age of 17, where he studied French and Italian. During this time he was also exposed to theatre, as well as the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, all of which would have an influence on his future writings. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Trinity College in 1927, Beckett travelled to France, and was introduced to James Joyce, who was enjoying the success and fame of his books Ulysses, and A...