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Kansas City's Irish Festivals, Music, Pubs & Events

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival

This month of April in 2006 has been set aside in Ireland for the Beckett Centenary Festival. Commemorating the life and works of the Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and Nobel laureate, so soon after losing John McGahern, carries an extra poignancy.

Born on Good Friday, April 13th, 1906 in County Dublin, Samuel Beckett is one of Ireland's greatest literary treasures. Beckett's work is stark, fundamentally minimalist, and deeply pessimistic about human nature and the human condition, although the pessimism is mitigated by a great and often wicked sense of humor. One of the things I miss greatly about Ireland is pessimism, and I don't expect that to change.

An accessible commemoration to people here in the US is the issuing of the first Euro silver & gold coins:
Produced at a mint facility in Germany, the coins form part of a European programme, with the common theme of ‘Famous Europeans,’ and will display the Europa coin symbol. The gold coin will be launched under the Smallest Gold Coins in the World programme and will be the first gold coin to issue in Euro
But enough of commemorative shiny objects, and go read something by Beckett this month. Ah go on. Some of his works are really short. Surely you have the time. 60 sentences. Too long? 121 words. Not much more than Cat in the Hat.


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