This week, Ireland is celebrating the centenary of one of its famous literary sons, Samuel Beckett, playwright, novelist and Nobel Prize winner.
Samuel Beckett was born in Foxrock, Dublin, on April 13th 1906. In 1919 Beckett went to the prestigious Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, whose former graduates had also included Oscar Wilde. Afterwards Beckett studied at Trinity College Dublin from 1923 to 1927, before lecturing at the university in 1930. Becket spent some time in the 1930 journeying France, Germany and Russia, before settling in Paris as a lecturer shortly before the war. During World War II, Beckett joined the French Resistance and was rewarded for his efforts with the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille de la Resistance.
Beckett's work is characterised as stark, minimalist and existentialist and as pessimistic by some circles. His most famous work is arguably Waiting for Godot (1952), a tale of two tramps waiting in vain for one of their friends. The success of Waiting for Godot propelled Beckett to fame and further critical acclaim followed with plays such as Endgame (1957). Beckett began to garner a distinctive style examining the existential questions in life, quite often with some extreme surrealism. Beckett's work continued to build momentum and in 1969 Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature,
Beckett died on 22nd December 1989, he is buried in Paris with his Wife, and at the foot of his grave is a solitary tree, a reminder of the stage set for his most famous play. Beckett is remembered as one of the most influential writers of his generation.