Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence

2218 words 9 pages
Samuel Beckett: Sound and Silence
Patrick Richert
February 15, 2013

Samuel Beckett was a world renown author of poetry, novels, and theatrical plays. He was born in Ireland and spent much of his adult life in Paris. His works were primarily written in French, and then translated, many times by the author himself, into English. He is known for creating works of dark comedy, and absurdism, and later in his career a minimalist.
Due to his late start as an author, he is considered one of the last modernists, along with his good friend and mentor James Joyce.
Samuel Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, and was upset by the selection, claiming that James Joyce should have won it. For this reason he
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Beckett is known as an absurdist and minimalist, and clearly his first influences were his good friend James Joyce and Proust. The first who helped shape his writing, while he worked with Joyce, and the other whom he studied at great length. During his early period of writing he exhibited a love of the language, and often tried to express this in his work, which led to a period of only middling success. This period was also highly autobiographical, which led to some of the trouble that he had with his family, and eventually Jungian therapy, which can be found in his works, especially Watt, Waiting for Godot, and All that Fall, which transcribes some of his therapy sessions almost word for word.
His later period of writing can be attributed in a great deal to his decision to write almost entirely in French, a second language. This caused him to be succinct in his descriptions, and began his work as a minimalist. As he began this style of writing, he started to more and more protest against the norms of writing, eschewing much of what became the model of writing, some even argue to the extent that plot was removed altogether.


Samuel Beckett’s works, opened the way for many Absurdists. His treatment of theatre in his plays opened the way for other authors to challenge the norms of theatre. He stripped away all other conventions of setting, action and style, and concentrated on