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April 13

Samuel Beckett

Beckett became friends with fellow writer and Irishman James Joyce when they lived in Paris. In fact, Beckett helped Joyce research his most famous book, Finnegans Wake.

Photo by Reg Lancaster/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1906: Post-Modern Poster Boy
Samuel Beckett is born in Dublin, Ireland
Irish playwright and poet Samuel Beckett is considered the first Post-modernist writer. He explored some pretty bleak subjects in works like Waiting for Godot and Krapp’s Last Tape including loneliness, hopelessness, and isolation. His work attracted considerable attention in his day—and even still—for often tossing all conventions of character development and plot, even punctuation, straight out the window.

Some of his works attempted to capture the inner thoughts and feelings of his characters second by second. Beckett combined words and ideas in such innovative ways that he earned the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. But because Beckett was such a private person, the fame that accompanied this honor was a double-edged sword.
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