Samuel Beckett


1906

April 13: Samuel Barclay Beckett is born near Dublin, Ireland.

1919

SB is sent off to the Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh -- the same school Oscar Wilde attended.

1923

SB begins his studies at Trinity College, Dublin.

1923

SB graduates from Trinity College, Dublin, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

1928

SB moves to Paris.

1929

SB publishes his first work, a critical essay defending James Joyce's writings.

1930

"Whoroscope" wins first place in a competition for a poem about time.

1931

SB earns a Master of Arts degree from Trinity College.

He publishes Proust, a collection of essays.

1934

SB publishes his first novel, More Pricks than Kicks.

1937

SB has a brief affair with the art collector Peggy Guggenheim.

1938

SB publishes his second novel, Murphy.

He is hospitalized after being stabbed in the street by a man who approaches him asking for money.

1940

Unhappy with the German occupation of his adopted homeland, SB joins the French Resistance.

1942

Several members of SB's underground resistance group are arrested by the Gestapo, and he is forced to flee to the unoccupied zone.

1945

SB returns to Paris.

1951

SB publishes two more novels -- Molloy and Malone Dies.

1953

5 January: Waiting for Godot premieres at the Théâtre de Babylone in Paris. The "strange little play in which nothing happens" enjoys a run of 400 performances.

He publishes two more novels -- Watt and The Unnamable.

1957

3 April: Endgame premieres at the Royal Court Theatre in London under the direction of Roger Blin. The play is well received and secures Beckett's position as a master dramatist.

19 November: A company of actors from the San Francisco Actor's Workshop present Waiting for Godot at the San Quentin penitentiary for an audience of over fourteen hundred convicts. The production is a great success.

1958

28 October: Krapp's Last Tape premieres at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

1961

SB publishes How It Is, his last full-length prose work.

25 March: In a secret civil ceremony, SB marries Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil.

1969

10 December: SB is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He refuses to attend the ceremony.

1973

16 January: Not I premieres at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

1976

20 May: That Time and Footfalls premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

1979

SB publishes Company, a novella.

1981

Ohio Impromptu premieres at Ohio State University.

1982

SB publishes another novella, Ill Seen, Ill Said.

Catastrophe, written for Vaclav Havel, is performed at the Avignon Festival.

1983

15 June: What Where premieres at the Harold Clurman Theatre in New York.

1984

SB is elected Saoi of Aosdána. Saoi is the highest honor that members of Aosdána (an organization of people in Ireland who have achieved distinction in the arts) can bestow upon a fellow member. No more than seven living members can be so honored at one time

He publishes his final novella, Worstword Ho.

1989

17 July: SB's wife Suzanne dies.

22 December: SB dies at the age of 83. Although he continues to write until his death, he says, in the end, that each word seems "an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness."

 

They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.