Samuel Beckett's work forever changed the concepts of literature and theatre. His work remains a core part of introductory courses on literary history, drama, theatre or performance and also features in more specialist modules such as Modernism or The Absurd. Samuel Beckett is a comprehensive introduction to his life and work as well as an outline of the critical issues surrounding his work. This guidebook leaves judgements up to the student by explaining the full range of often very different critical views and interpretations and offers guides to further reading in each area discussed.

chapter |2 pages


part |2 pages

Part I Life and Contexts

chapter |6 pages

(a) The early years: 1906–1927

chapter |16 pages

(b) The young writer: 1928–1939

chapter |3 pages

(c) War and Watt: 1939–1946

chapter |5 pages

(d) The Siege in the Room': 1945–1953

chapter |8 pages

(e) Fame: 1953–1969

chapter |5 pages

(f) Last years: 1970–1989

chapter |1 pages

Further reading

part |2 pages

Part II Work

chapter |12 pages

(a) The early prose: 1929–1945

chapter |21 pages

(b) Beckett's post-war work: 1945–1960

chapter |14 pages

(c) The later work: 1960–1989

chapter |3 pages

(d) Beckett the poet

part |4 pages

Part III Criticism

chapter |20 pages

(a) Beckett the Cartesian: 1959–1969

chapter |27 pages

(b) The Beckett industry: 1970–1980

chapter |42 pages

(c) Theoretical Beckett: 1980–1995

chapter |4 pages

(d) Recent criticism: 1995–

chapter |5 pages

(e) Biographical studies

chapter |4 pages