Today marks 112 years since the birth of Irish writer, playwright, and Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. To celebrate, we at the Samuel Beckett Society have assembled a collection of links to celebrate his life, work, and legacy. Enjoy!

Essays, Interviews & Multimedia

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Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett: Style Icon? Here at the Samuel Beckett Society, we’re not sure what to make of Robert Armstrong’s recent piece in the Financial Times about the end of the male style icon. Armstrong is wistful for a simpler time, when male celebrity figures were supposedly emulated and celebrated for their sartorial choices.

J.M. Coetzee: 8 Ways of Looking at Samuel Beckett: Lithub has published an extract from the Nobel laureate’s essay on Beckett. The essay appears in a new collection of Coetzee’s work, entitled Late Essays: 2006-2017.

An Animated Introduction to the Life and Work of Samuel Beckett: Professor Ronan McDonald has written a brief biography of the Nobel laureate for Alain de Botton’s School of Life series

Remembering How It Was: Anne Atik, Avigdor Arikha, and Samuel Beckett: Aysegul Savas has written about her experience of knowing the poet Anne Atik as a neighbour. The piece also discusses Anne’s late husband, Avigdor Arikha, and touches on the couple’s friendship with Samuel Beckett

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The Book Show (RTÉ Radio 1): Eimear McBride on Samuel Beckett: On this special episode of The Book Show Eimear McBride (A Girl is a Half Formed Thing, The Lesser Bohemians) visits The Samuel Beckett Collection in University of Reading. There she gains a rare glimpse at the original manuscripts of Beckett’s first publish novel Murphy and his last published prose work Stirrings Still.

Samuel Beckett’s Annotated Copy of Waiting for Godot: ““This edition of Waiting for Godot is annotated by Beckett for the San Quentin Drama Workshop’s 1984 production, which Beckett supervised for ten days.”

Beckett: “a writer whose work gains deep meaning in difficult times”: Writing for The Irish Times, Emilie Morin cites Samuel Beckett as a politically active citizen who was concerned with cultural and societal change.

Lydia Davis on Samuel Beckett: Author Lydia Davis was drawn to the simplicity of Beckett’s work at an early age.

Emilie Morin, Beckett's Political Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
Emilie Morin, Beckett’s Political Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Emilie Morin: New Insights into Beckett’s Politics: In interview conducted by Cambridge University Press, Emilie Morin reveals how she came to write her most recent book, Beckett’s Political Imagination

Eimear McBride on Beckett’s Development as a Writer: “The other week I sat reading a draft of one of Beckett’s earliest attempts at drama ‘Human Wishes’ about the relationship between Samuel Johnson and Hester Thrale. It’s hard to believe it’s by the same writer who would one day come up with Godot or Mouth or Krapp. It’s similarly intriguing to see how apparent ‘Dubliners’ is in ‘More Pricks than Kicks’ while Beckett’s own Malone is still nowhere to be seen.”

Judy Hegarty Lovett on Interpreting Samuel Beckett: The Interval speaks to Hegarty Lovett about adapting Beckett’s novels for the stage.

Lisa Dwan and Walter Asmus on Beckett’s Theatre: In a 2016 interview for BOMB Magazine, Lisa Dwan and Walter Asmus talk to Michael Coffey about their collaboration on Beckett’s late plays

British Sign Language Synopsis of Beckett’s Not I: Deaf theatre maker Deepa Shastri offers a British Sign Language (BSL) synopsis for the Touretteshero and Battersea Arts Centre production of Samuel Beckett’s Not I.

Events

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Maxine Peake to star in Happy Days

New Beckett Research Centre in Reading to Inspire New Works: Public events, new creative works, and funded fellowships around the work of Samuel Beckett will all be products of a new research centre dedicated to the Irish novelist, story writer, and playwright.

German Fever: Take a Look at the “Beckett in Germany” Exhibition

Maxine Peake to star in Manchester production of Beckett’s Happy Days: The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is mounting Sarah Frankcom’s production of Happy Days from 25 May 2018 to 23 June 2018.

The London Beckett Seminar, 2017-2018: The London Beckett Seminar at the Institute of English Studies will bring together national and international scholars, researchers and postgraduates to discuss issues arising from the prose, theatre and poetry of Samuel Beckett that pertain to aspects of literary, philosophical and historical analysis with particular attention to translation studies, performance and practice, digital humanities and visual cultures. Inherently interdisciplinary in approach, the seminar will establish a vibrant research network for postgraduate students, early-career researchers, and established academics on a national and international level.

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Cambridge Day School: Samuel Beckett’s Murphy: In a day school at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, attendees will explore how Beckett’s own life and interests shaped the novel by reading his letters and notebooks alongside the text itself. The course takes place on 21 April 2018, and is hosted by Beckett scholar Andy Wimbush

New and Recent Books

bdmp-endgameThe Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Endgame’/’Fin de partie’: Originally written in French and first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame is widely regarded as one of his most important works. The Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Endgame’/’Fin de partie’ is a comprehensive reference guide to the history of the text.

The Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’/’En attendant Godot’: First performed in 1953, Waiting for Godot is Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece and one of the most important dramatic works of the 20th century. The Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’/’En attendant Godot’ is a comprehensive reference guide to the history of the text.

Michael Coffey on his book, Samuel Beckett Is Closed: Coffey discusses a hybrid short fiction work that blends memoir, criticism, and poetry

Join the Samuel Beckett Society

The Society provides opportunities for members to meet and exchange information. Membership includes subscription to The Beckett Circle, the newsletter of the Society published twice yearly. The Society arranges member discounts and exclusive offers with a number of international publishers and events. Members of the SBS are also eligible for a subscription to the Journal of Beckett Studies at a reduced rate, and receive a 50% discount on the price of individual issues of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui. The annual meeting of the Society’s Executive Board is held during the MLA Annual Convention. Donations over and above the membership fee are welcome and are tax deductible. Join the Samuel Beckett Society today!

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Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer and photographer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. His work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website RhysTranter.com is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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