Samuel Beckett and the Nobel catastrophe

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Abstract / Description of output

Suzanne Beckett’s shocked response to the news of her husband’s Nobel Prize has gone down in history: it was, she declared, “a catastrophe.” This paper follows Suzanne’s lead and reads Beckett’s 1982 play Catastrophe as Beckett’s reaction to his receipt of the Nobel Prize. Catastrophe is not only Beckett’s meditation on his painful experience of media exposure and institutional manipulation; it is also his caustic response to the Swedish Academy labelling him an “idealistic” writer of “compassion” and “inner purification.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-364
JournalSamuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui (SBT/A)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Samuel Beckett
  • catastrophe
  • Jerome Lindon
  • Nobel Prize
  • Nobel Prize for Literature


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