Samuel Beckett (1906 – 1989) was an Irish novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet who mastered the rare feat of writing in a foreign tongue to become one of the greatest ‘French’ playwrights ever.
Samuel Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature, then elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1984 for his tragicomic theatrical outlook on human existence. Even though he was Irish, he lived in Paris for much of his adult life, inspiring him to write literature in both English and French.
The reason why he wrote in French was to get away from his mother tongue, since picking up the pen in English had become “too easy”. The French language forced him to think more thoroughly about his word choices and to write in a more economical manner.
The choice as to whether his plays would be written in English or French was governed by pure instinct rather than planning, with Krapp’s Last Tape first written in English, while En Attendant Godot (Waiting For Godot) was in French. In Waiting For Godot, we watch how two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, pass time pointlessly waiting for the arrival of someone named Godot who never appears.
The logic of language completely dissolves into cyclical absurdity and the madness of self-delusion. In Waiting For Godot, for example, Vladimir and Estragon’s words are devoid of all truth: “Dis-le, même si ce n’est pas vrai / Qu’est-ce que je dois dire ? / Dis, Je suis content. / Je suis content.” (“Say it, even if it isn’t true / What must I say? / Say, I am happy. / I am happy.”)
However, there is fine method to this madness. While it seems absurd that method and madness could co-exist in their paradoxical tones, Theatre of the Absurd strives to express the senselessness of the human condition and the inadequacy of rationality. This is particularly true of Fin de Partie (Endgame), a one-act play taking place in a bare, partially underground room, portraying a mortally depressing universe devoid of purpose. It was written in French, then translated into English by the author.
Beckett is considered one of the last true modernist writers, and his work is taught in both French and English-speaking universities worldwide.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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