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Nothing happens, body comes, body goes, it's awful.' This line from the play was adopted by Jean Auilh to characterize the first production of Waiting for Godot at the Theatre de Babylone in 1953. He went on to predict that the play would, in time, represent the most important premiere to be staged in Paris for forty years. Nobody acquainted with Beckett's masterly black comedy would w question this prescient recognition of a classic of twentieth-century literature.
Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906 and graduated from Trinity College. He settled in Paris in 1937, after travels in Germany and periods of residence in London and Dublin. He remained in France during the Second World War and was active in the French Resistance. From the spring of 1946 his plays, novels, short fiction, poetry and criticism were largely written in French. With the production of En attendant Godot in Paris in 1953, Beckett's work began to achieve widespread recognition. During his subsequent career as a playwright and novelist in both French and English he redefined the possibilities of prose fiction and writing for the theatre. Samuel Beckett won the Prix Formentor in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. He died in Paris in December 1989.