Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Waited for Godot
I came to know that Samuel Beckett was an author when I read the news of his birth centenary last month. I have not read even a single one of his plays. But still, I am writing an obituary after nearly 17 years of his death!
Beckett was an extraordinarily colourful personality. A British author who wrote exclusively in french! He was also a minimalist and an absurdist. His plays and stories have a strange theme from what I have made out from their summary. I will get down to read one of them for sure soon!
But what is even more amazing is what the people around him thought about this man. He started out as a defender of James Joyce and only started writing quite late in life. But his books have themes which are certainly novel. They challenge conventions and also are heavily symbolic. Different people will interpret them differently it seems.
He was also phenomenally media shy. Infact in Paris, he was frequently sought after by people to get his photo and sell them to the newspaper. I read somewhere that they even sometimes knocked on his door and when the poor man came out to open it, they would click him and run away.
And his minimalism was even shocking. He actually created a play "Breath" which lasted for just 35 seconds! Beat that!
Hope that he won't think it is too absurd that his obituary is even written by someone who hasnt even been able to read a single one of his work. I am sure he won't!
Trivia: Beckett is the only nobel laureate to also appear in cricket's bible, The Wisden Almanac. He actually played for northampshire in his youth.