They were written during a troubled time in the playwright’s life.Wikimedia Commons

On this day, October 23, 1969, famed Irish novelist, playwright, theater director, and poet Samuel Beckett won the Nobel Prize for Literature with the selection committee naming him "for his writing, which--in forms for the novel and drama--in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation."

Born in Foxrock, Dublin in 1906, Beckett spent most of his adult life in France, writing in both English and French, and becoming one of the main writers associated with “The Theatre of the Absurd,” a selection of mainly European playwrights known for their particular plays of absurdist fiction.

Works within “The Theatre of the Absurd” explore what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose, showing the progression from logical communication, to the irrational and illogical, eventually leading to silence. Much of Beckett’s work focused on man’s failure to overcome absurdity in life, in particular.

Among his most famous works are Murphy (1938), Waiting for Godot (1953), Krapp’s Last Tape (1958) and Happy Days (1961).

In celebration of one of the most influential writers of the 20th century and one of the last modernists, we’ve compiled some of his best quotes, often coupling a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, with black comedy and gallows humor.

1. 

2. “There's man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet.

Image: Getty images.

Image: Getty images.

(Waiting for Godot, 1953.)

3. “No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found.”

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(From an abandoned work.)

4. “We are all born mad. Some remain so.” 

A 1992 production of Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot."

A 1992 production of Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot."

(Waiting for Godot, 1953.)

5. “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

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(Waiting for Godot, 1953.)

6. “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

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(Worstward Ho, 1983.)

7.  “You're on Earth, there's no cure for that!”

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(Endgame, 1957.)

8. “Birth was the death of him.”

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(A Piece of Monologue, “Three Occasional Pieces”, 1982.)

9.

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(Murphy, 1938.)

10. “Words are the clothes thoughts wear.”

Samuel Beckett.

Samuel Beckett.

Have we missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments section, below. 

* Originally published in December 2015.