Fun Facts Friday: Samuel Beckett

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Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April, 1906 – 22 December, 1989) was a Nobel Prize winning playwright and novelist from Ireland. Mr. Beckett is mostly known for his play Waiting for Godot..
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Works by Samuel Beckett*

  1. In 1906, 13 April fell on Good Friday as well as Friday the 13th. Mr. Beckett always enjoyed the irony of his birthdate.
  2. Mr. Becket was an excellent cricket player.
  3. As a young man, Mr. Beckett spent several years in Paris, France helping writer James Joyce, nearly blind at the time, to finish his novel Finnegans Wake. The two writers kept being friends until Mr. Beckett rejected Lucia Joyce, the writer’s daughter.
  4. Samuel Beckett built a farm north of Paris in 1953, he was helped by a farmer named Boris Rousimoff. Mr. Rousimoff’s son was very big for his age, or any age, and since Mr. Beckett owned a big truck he offered to drive the young man to school every day. The boy and the writer bonded over sports (cricket to be specific). That young man grew even more and eventually became a wrestling champion and actor named André the Giant.
  5. Mr. Beckett’s quote from Worstward Ho “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better” has, ironically, become a motivational quote used by entrepreneurs and business people everywhere.
  6. During World War II Mr. Beckett joined the French Resistance to fight the Nazis. He translated documents and allowed his apartment to be used as an information drop. After the war Mr. Beckett was awarded the Croix de Guerre and Médaille de la Résistance for his courage. For his part, Mr. Beckett referred to that period in his life as “boy scout stuff”.
  7. After World War II, the author turned to writing in French.
  8. The avant-garde movie Film (1965) was the only script which Mr. Beckett wrote. It starred Buster Keaton (70 at the time) and his highly experimental. Mr. Beckett called it “an interesting failure”.
  9. Mr. Becket won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 “for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation”. Mr. Beckett disliked fame and publicity and refused to accept the prize in person. He later game the prize money away with the main beneficiary being the library at Dublin’s Trinity College, his alma mater.
  10. On Waiting for Godot (1953), critic Vivian Mercier wrote that the playwright “has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. What’s more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice.”

Works by Samuel Beckett*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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