Died on this day – 22 December 1989


Samuel Barclay Beckettborn13 April 1906, was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, poet, and literary translator who lived in Paris for most of his adult life. He wrote in both English and French.

Beckett’s work offers a bleak, tragiomic outlook on human existence, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour, and became increasingly minimalist in his later career. He is considered one of the last modernist writers, and one of the key figures in what Martin Esslin called the “Theatre of the Absurd“.

Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature 

In 1989 Beckett visited the Cité de l’Ecrit in Montmorillon. Whilst waiting for his friend Godot outside The Glass Key bookshop Beckett’s emphysema finally conquered his indomitable spirit and he died. He was then buried with his longtime companion Suzanne in the Cimitière du Montparnasse in Paris where they share a simple granite gravestone that follows Beckett’s directive that it should be “any colour, so long as it’s grey.”

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