Samuel Beckett quotes

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Samuel Beckett

Birthdate: 13. April 1906
Date of death: 22. December 1989

Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. A resident of Paris for most of his adult life, he wrote in both French and English.

Beckett's work offers a bleak, tragi-comic 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 "for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation." He was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1984. Wikipedia

Works

Molloy
Molloy
Samuel Beckett
The Unnamable
The Unnamable
Samuel Beckett
Watt
Samuel Beckett
Malone Dies
Malone Dies
Samuel Beckett
Texts for Nothing
Samuel Beckett
Three Dialogues
Samuel Beckett
Krapp's Last Tape
Samuel Beckett
Worstward Ho
Worstward Ho
Samuel Beckett
Murphy
Murphy
Samuel Beckett
Proust
Proust
Samuel Beckett

„Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Worstward Ho

Worstward Ho (1983)
Context: All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

„I wish them all an atrocious life and then the fires and ice of hell and in the execrable generations to come an honoured name.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Malone Dies

Malone Dies (1951)
Context: Let me say before I go any further that I forgive nobody. I wish them all an atrocious life and then the fires and ice of hell and in the execrable generations to come an honoured name.

„What I assert, deny, question, in the present, I still can.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Molloy

Molloy (1951)
Context: What I assert, deny, question, in the present, I still can. But mostly I shall use the various tenses of the past. For mostly I do not know, it is perhaps no longer so, it is too soon to know, I simply do not know, perhaps shall never know.

„Can it be we are not free? It might be worth looking into.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Molloy

Molloy (1951)
Context: All the things you would do gladly, oh without enthusiasm, but gladly, all the things there seems no reason for your not doing, and that you do not do! Can it be we are not free? It might be worth looking into.

„Let me cry out then, it's said to be good for you. Yes let me cry out, this time, then another time perhaps, then perhaps a last time.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Molloy

Molloy (1951)
Context: To decompose is to live too, I know, I know, don't torment me, but one sometimes forgets. And of that life too I shall tell you perhaps one day, the day I know that when I thought I knew I was merely existing and that passion without form or stations will have devoured me down to the rotting flesh itself and that when I know that I know nothing, am only crying out as I have always cried out, more or less piercingly, more or less openly. Let me cry out then, it's said to be good for you. Yes let me cry out, this time, then another time perhaps, then perhaps a last time.

„Saying is inventing. Wrong, very rightly wrong.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Molloy

Molloy (1951)
Context: And truly it little matters what I say, this or that or any other thing. Saying is inventing. Wrong, very rightly wrong. You invent nothing, you think you are inventing, you think you are escaping, and all you do is stammer out your lesson, the remnants of a pensum one day got by heart and long forgotten, life without tears, as it is wept.

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„I do not feel like spending the rest of my life writing books that no one will read. It is not as though I wanted to write them.“

—  Samuel Beckett

The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1929–1940 (2009), p. 362
Context: I think the next little bit of excitement is flying. I hope I am not too old to take it up seriously, nor too stupid about machines to qualify as a commercial pilot. I do not feel like spending the rest of my life writing books that no one will read. It is not as though I wanted to write them.

„Watch wound and buried by the watchmaker, before he died, whose ruined works will one day speak of God, to the worms.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Molloy

Molloy (1951)
Context: My life, my life, now I speak of it as of something over, now as of a joke which still goes on, and it is neither, for at the same time it is over and it goes on, and is there any tense for that? Watch wound and buried by the watchmaker, before he died, whose ruined works will one day speak of God, to the worms.

„Some of this rubbish has come in handy on occasions, I don’t deny it, on occasions which would never have arisen if they had left me in peace. I use it still, to scratch my arse with.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book The Unnamable

The Unnamable (1954)
Context: What they were most determined for me to swallow was my fellow creatures. In this they were without mercy. I remember little or nothing of these lectures. I cannot have understood a great deal. But I seem to have retained certain descriptions, in spite of myself. They gave me courses on love, on intelligence, most precious, most precious. They also taught me to count, and even to reason. Some of this rubbish has come in handy on occasions, I don’t deny it, on occasions which would never have arisen if they had left me in peace. I use it still, to scratch my arse with.

„What a joy to know where one is, and where one will stay, without being there. Nothing to do but stretch out comfortably on the rack, in the blissful knowledge you are nobody for all eternity.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book The Unnamable

The Unnamable (1954)
Context: What a joy to know where one is, and where one will stay, without being there. Nothing to do but stretch out comfortably on the rack, in the blissful knowledge you are nobody for all eternity. A pity I should have to give tongue at the same time, it prevents it from bleeding in peace, licking the lips.

„What makes me weep so? From time to time. There is nothing saddening here.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book The Unnamable

The Unnamable (1954)
Context: The tears stream down my cheeks from my unblinking eyes. What makes me weep so? From time to time. There is nothing saddening here. Perhaps it is liquefied brain.

„What they were most determined for me to swallow was my fellow creatures. In this they were without mercy.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book The Unnamable

The Unnamable (1954)
Context: What they were most determined for me to swallow was my fellow creatures. In this they were without mercy. I remember little or nothing of these lectures. I cannot have understood a great deal. But I seem to have retained certain descriptions, in spite of myself. They gave me courses on love, on intelligence, most precious, most precious. They also taught me to count, and even to reason. Some of this rubbish has come in handy on occasions, I don’t deny it, on occasions which would never have arisen if they had left me in peace. I use it still, to scratch my arse with.

„They didn’t say in so many words that I was as well as I would ever be, but that was the implication.“

—  Samuel Beckett

The End (1946)
Context: I didn’t feel well, but they told me I was well enough. They didn’t say in so many words that I was as well as I would ever be, but that was the implication.

„For had I been able to conceive something worse than what I had I would have known no peace until I got it, if I know anything about myself.“

—  Samuel Beckett, book Molloy

Molloy (1951)
Context: Anything worse than what I do, without knowing what, or why, I have never been able to conceive, and that doesn’t surprise me, for I never tried. For had I been able to conceive something worse than what I had I would have known no peace until I got it, if I know anything about myself.

„Strictly speaking I wasn’t there. Strictly speaking I believe I’ve never been anywhere.“

—  Samuel Beckett

The End (1946)
Context: Normally I didn’t see a great deal. I didn’t hear a great deal either. I didn’t pay attention. Strictly speaking I wasn’t there. Strictly speaking I believe I’ve never been anywhere.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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