Samuel Beckett changed the ways we see the world. He did so by transforming the genres we use to represent it, remaking them in the light of his grand inquisitorial playfulness. Despite his endlessly self-effacing way of writing, plays like Endgame, novels like Molloy, and a host of inscrutable poems, essays and prose fragments, bear his unmistakable signature. They announce on every page: Beckett was here.
It is perhaps paradoxical that such a minimalist should have had such a maximal effect, and an opponent of biographical readings of art such a high biographical profile (witness the big biographies by Deirdre Bair, Anthony Cronin and James Knowlson, and innumerable iconic photos). Beckett was a prolific