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Waiting for Godotby Samuel Beckett
1969 Nobel Prize In Literature
Synopses & Reviews
From an inauspicious beginning at the tiny Left Bank Théâtre de Babylone in 1953, followed by bewilderment by American and British audiences, Waiting for Godot has become one of the most important and enigmatic plays of the past fifty years and a cornerstone of twentieth-century drama. As Clive Barnes wrote, ?Time catches up with genius. . . . Waiting for Godot is one of the masterpieces of the century.?
Now in honor of the centenary of Samuel Beckett?s birth, Grove Press is publishing a bilingual edition of the play. Originally written in French, Beckett translated the work himself, and in doing so chose to revise and eliminate various passages. With side-by-side text the reader can experience the mastery of Beckett?s language and explore the nuances of his creativity.
Upon being asked who Godot is, Samuel Beckett told Alan Schneider, ?If I knew, I would have said so in the play.? Although we may never know who we are waiting for, in this special edition we can rediscover one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.
Beckett's first stage play portrays two tramps, trapped in an endless waiting for the arrival of a mysterious personage named Godot, while disputing the appointed place and hour of his coming. They amuse themselves with various bouts of repartee and word-play.
A seminal work of twentieth-century drama, Waiting for Godot was Samuel Becketts first professionally produced play. It opened in Paris in 1953 at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone, and has since become a cornerstone of twentieth-century theater.
The story line revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, inhabiting a drama spun from their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankinds inexhaustible search for meaning. Becketts language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existentialism of post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.
A classic of modern theatre and perennial favorite of colleges and high schools. "One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation . . . suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity . . . like a sharp stab of beauty and pain".--The London Times.
About the Author
Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Ireland. Best known for the classic Waiting for Godot, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. He spent most of his life in Paris and died there in 1989.
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