Samuel Beckett (born April 13, 1906, Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland – died December 22, 1989, Paris, France), in full Samuel Barclay Beckett, was an Irish novelist, playwright, and poet considered one of the last modernist writers.
His notable works include plays such as Waiting for Godot (En attendant Godot, 1952), Endgame (1957), Krapp’s Last Tape (1958), and Happy Days (1961), and novels Murphy (1938), Molloy (1951), Malone Dies (1951), The Unnamable (1953), and Watt (1953).
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.Samuel Beckett Talks about Beckett by John Gruen, in Vogue (December 1969)
Where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.The Unnamable (Grove Press, ed. 1958), Page 179
The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.Waiting for Godot (Grove Press, ed. 1954), Act I, Page 22
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.Worstward Ho (Grove Press, ed. 1983), Page 7
There is a little of everything, apparently, in nature, and freaks are common.Molloy (Grove Press, ed. 1955), Part I, Page 17
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.Murphy (Picador, ed. 1973), Chapter 1, Page 5
Don’t wait to be hunted to hide, that was always my motto.Molloy (Grove Press, ed. 1955), Part II, Page 156
In me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking nothing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible a little further on.Molloy (Grove Press, ed. 1955), Part I, Page 64
There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.Waiting for Godot (Grove Press, ed. 1954), Act I, Page 8
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To him who has nothing it is forbidden not to relish filth.Molloy (Grove Press, ed. 1955), Part I, Page 30
The only sin is the sin of being born.Samuel Beckett Talks About Beckett by John Gruen, in Vogue (December 1969)
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world. And we laugh, we laugh, with a will, in the beginning. But it’s always the same thing. Yes, it’s like the funny story we have heard too often, we still find it funny, but we don’t laugh any more.Endgame (Grove Press, ed. 1957), Page 18
Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!Waiting for Godot (Grove Press, ed. 1954), Act I, Page 27
To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.Interview with Samuel Beckett by Tom Driver, Columbia University Forum 4 (Summer 1961)
Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little.The Expelled (Penguin Books, ed. 1980), Page 33
They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.Waiting for Godot (Grove Press, ed. 1954), Act II, Page 57
What do you expect, one is what one is, partly at least.Molloy (Grove Press, ed. 1955), Part I, Page 72
How all becomes clear and simple when one opens an eye on the within, having of course previously exposed it to the without, in order to benefit by the contrast.The Unnamable (Grove Press, ed. 1958), Page 77
Let us do something while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed.Waiting for Godot (Grove Press, ed. 1954), Act II, Page 51
ESTRAGON: Perhaps he could dance first and think afterwards, if it isn’t too much to ask him.
VLADIMIR: (to Pozzo). Would that be possible?
POZZO: By all means, nothing simpler. It’s the natural order.
(Also known as: Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.)'Act I' Waiting for Godot (1952)