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Beckett criticism is well known for its use of impenetrable jargon in describing the themes in his famous novels, poems and especially his seminal plays Waiting for Godot and Endgame. This book is a decided contrast. Written by one of Beckett's contemporaries, it provides a humanizing portrait of Beckett that has been conspicuously missing from previous biographies.
Spanning nearly the whole of the twentieth century, Beckett's life was full of romantic, exciting incidents and fascinating characters such as James Joyce and Peggy Guggenheim. He met his wife as a result of being stabbed by a pimp on the street, was a member of the French Resistance, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969 and in later years became a famous figure on the Left Bank. He died on December 22, 1989.
Cronin regards Beckett as the last of the great modernists and discusses his life and work in this context. The result is a thoroughly engaging addition to the criticism on one of the century's greatest literary figures, one that belongs on the shelves of all lovers of Beckett.