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Samuel Beckett, The Middle and Later Years

David Cameron




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Samuel Beckett is one of the most revered of modern writers. ‘It’s the extreme that’s important,’ he once said, and in his experimental fiction, drama and poetry, Beckett explores what survives of humanity when people are pushed to their absolute mental, physical and spiritual limits.

Yet Beckett was also, at all points of his career, supremely funny. After the linguistically exuberant, comic but despairing early work, Beckett came into his own in his middle years. It was then that he began writing in French and stripping language bare, creating his most famous work, Waiting for Godot and the great trilogy of novels. The minimalism of his later 'withered-flowering’ distilled the Beckettian to its purest essence, resulting in prose as close to poetry as any writer has achieved.

Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Croix de Guerre for his role in the French Resistance. But whatever the public accolades, this very private writer was never deflected from his singular focus on individual suffering. As this study makes clear, ‘The suffering expressed by Beckett is like the mystic’s “dark night of the soul”, with the added despair of night being endless and the mystical vision reduced to gleams in the skull.'


About the author:

David Cameron was born in Glasgow and now lives near Belfast. In 2014 he received the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry. He is the author of the story collection Rousseau Moon (2000) and two novels, The Ghost of Alice Fields (2014) and Prendergast’s Fall (2019). His poetry is collected in The Bright Tethers: Poems 1988-2016. He is married to the Irish glass artist Louise Rice and they have three young children.


102  pages

ISBN: 978-1-910996-29-4

Greenwich Exchange Category: Literature

Series: None



Other books by David Cameron published by Greenwich Exchange:

The Ghost of Alice Fields