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Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–89) By Tang, Yan (Amy)

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM941-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 18 March 2018, from


Samuel Barclay Beckett is widely considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Born in Ireland and living in France for half of his life, he wrote prose, dramatic works, poems, and criticism in both English and French. He started to write fiction after he met James Joyce and other intellectuals in Paris in the 1920s. His research on languages, literature and philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris provided a solid basis for his works. His popularity grew rapidly after the Second World War, particularly after the publication of his groundbreaking play, En attendant Godot (1953, Waiting for Godot), and his trilogy, Molloy (1951), Malone meurt (1951, Malone Dies), and L’innommable (1953, The Unnamable). He was not only a prolific modernist who innovated avant-garde prose, theatre, radio, television, and cinema; he also joined the French Resistance during the Second World War and the post-war reconstruction. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.

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Citing this article:

Tang, Yan (Amy). "Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–89)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 18 Mar. 2018 doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM941-1

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