Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

Death: 22nd December 1989.
Location: Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France
Cause of death: Emphysema
Photo taken by: Phil Nacy
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Irish playwright, novelist and poet. He was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation. Beckett studied French, Italian and English at Trinity College, Dublin. After he graduated he took a post as an English lecturer at a school in Paris. 
While in Paris he was introduced to James Joyce and began to assist him, whilst working on his own career as a writer. In 1930 he returned to Trinity College as a lecturer, but left after a couple of years to travel. In the early 1930s he tried several times to get his work published, with little success.  In 1938 the novel Murphy was published and the following year Beckett translated it into French. Beckett returned to Paris in 1939 with the intention of making it his permanent home. 
After the German occupation, Beckett joined the Resistance and worked as a courier. He was forced to go into hiding in 1942 when his unit was betrayed to the Gestapo. Beckett used his time in hiding to work on a novel. For his work with the French Resistance he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance by the French government. 
He chose to write all of his later work in French because, he claimed, that it was easier to write without style in French. He is best remembered for the play Waiting for Godot. His plays, like his novels, generally have the theme of despair and the will to survive in the face of an uncomprehending world.