ABSTRACT

Samuel Beckett: Poet and Critic) had contained quite detailed accounts of parts of it. Deidre Bair's biography {Samuel Beckett, first published in 1978) was the first full length study of Beckett's life to be published in any language. The work grew from Bair's doctoral thesis. Dissatisfied with existing studies of Beckett (that seemed to her to get lost in theoretical abstraction, as the authors used Beckett's work as a springboard from which to dive into the wilder seas of philosophical speculation), she approached Beckett, who told her that he would 'neither help nor hinder her' (Bair 1978: 9). His diffidence concerning the project can be gauged from Bair's own comments

Samuel Beckett was kind enough to see me whenever I went to Paris, even though I soon realised how much pain and embarrassment some of my questions caused him. Nevertheless, he answered them patiently and honestly. He introduced me to his family and wrote letters on my behalf and, all the while, I am sure he did not want this book to be written and would have been grateful if I had abandoned it.