Beckett, Samuel

PLAYWRIGHT, POET (IRELAND)
BORN 13 Apr 1906, Dublin: Foxrock - DIED 22 Dec 1989, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montparnasse Cimetière (division 12)

Samuel Beckett studied English, French and Italian at Trinity College in Dublin (1923-1927). He became a teacher at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and in 1929 he published his first essay. In 1930 he returned to Trinity as a lecturer, but he resigned in 1931 and travelled in Europe. In 1931 he published "Proust". By 1935 he was working on a novel and he published a volume of poetry, "Echo's Bones and Other Precipitates".

In 1937 he had a brief affair with Peggy Guggenheim and in 1938 he met Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil (1900-1989), who became his tennis-partner, then his lover and eventually his lifelong companion. 1939 he settled in Paris, where he knew Joyce, Giacometti and Duchamp, with whom he played chess. In 1940 he joined the resistance and after he was betrayed he fled with Suzanne to Rousillon at the Cote d'Azur. After the war he was decorated by the French government, but he didn't rate his own work with the Resistance highly.

After the war he continued writing novels and plays and by 1960 he mainly wrote in French. In 1961 he secretly married Suzanne, probably to enable her to inherit his copyrights in case he would die first. Since the late 1950s he also conducted a relationship with Barbara Bray, a widowed BBC radio script editor with two children, that would last until the end of his life.

When he was with Suzanne on holiday in Tunis in 1969 he heard that he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Suzanne called this a catastrophe because now he would be famous and visited by admirers. The happened to a certain extent, allthough he never gave many interviews.

Suzanne died on 17 Jul 1989 and Beckett on 22 Dec of the same year. They were buried at the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.

Work: "Waiting for Godot" (Play, 1953).

Related persons
• was photographed by Brassaï
• was written about by Duthuit, Georges
• was a friend of Yeats, Jack Butler

Sources
Samuel Beckett - Wikipedia
Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil - Wikipedia
Montparnasse cimitière: grafschriften, Paris, 1993

Images

The grave of Samuel Beckett at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)

 


Beckford, William

Published: 18 Oct 2009
Last update: 18 Oct 2009