The Playwright Samual Beckett & the Resistance

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Jedburgh22, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Beckett's Resistance activities recalled

    Capt Cédric Dwoinikoff of the 92nd French infantry regiment (left) and Cpl Michael Kelly at Collins Barracks yesterday

    Samuel Beckett’s flight from the Nazis because of his involvement with the French Resistance in the second World War is recalled in a new exhibition in Dublin.MARK HILLIARD
    “He didn’t talk about it much after the war: it was something he did, he was very active but he didn’t go around shouting it from the roofs,” said Lar Joye, curator of The Irish and France: Three Centuries of Military Relations, at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks.
    The writer, he said, “felt strongly against the Germans: it was a point of principle”.
    Although in Ireland when the war broke out, Beckett returned to Paris, where he joined the information network Gloria SMH, which worked with the special operations executive of the Resistance. He translated confidential documents which were microfilmed and smuggled to London.
    Eventually betrayed to the Nazis, he fled Paris to the south of France with his partner Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil where he continued to store arms for the Resistance. After the war he given the Croix de Guerre, a French military award for heroism, though he later referred to his wartime activities as “boy scout stuff”.
    Beckett’s covert operations are just one aspect of Irish-French military history celebrated in the exhibition produced by the Musée de l’Armée in Paris. Running in Dublin until June, it is the first event of Culture Connects, Ireland’s EU cultural programme for 2013.
    It was unveiled yesterday by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan and Emmanuelle d’Achon, French Ambassador to Ireland. It covers events from the Battle of the Boyne to the recent UN mission to Chad.
    “I was very happy that we could transport it to Dublin and translate it also,” said Mrs d’Achon.
    “We also think that school children can come here and learn more, perhaps about the past and the wars of the times but also to learn about peace in Europe because a good part of the exhibition is about what Europe is doing now to protect peace and to encourage peacekeeping.”

    Beckett's Resistance activities recalled - The Irish Times - Thu, Jan 10, 2013
  2. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    For the longest time there was considerable debate over the meaning of Beckett's play 'Waiting for Godot'. The play is notable because Godot never actually turns up and many (through the 50's and trendy 60's) speculated that Godot was God and the play was about the absence of God from Man's world or the non-existence of God. The play is defined as part of what is known as the 'Theatre of the Absurd'. Essentially two man stand on the side of the road waiting for the arrival of Godot and engaging in endless, boring conversation, which is only broken up my the arrival of two other clownish chaps. The landscape of this play is barren save for one three with five leaves. In the second half of the play the tree has only four leaves which is all the concession Beckett would give to show 'time passing'. As I say there was lots of very serious, po-faced Academic debate as to the existentialist meaning of this play in the post-nuclear, post-holocaust world.

    It was only when it became known that Beckett had served with the Resistance during the war did it become blindingly obvious that the play was simply about the tedium of two chaps awaiting a clandestine meeting with another chap who never actually arrives...presumably because he's been captured by the Gestapo or has been hampered in his travel arrangements by the presence of the same (when they leave the stage at the end of the play the agree to come back tomorrow at the same time to wait for Godot again). Sometimes, when we're trying to be clever for the sake of being clever we simply fail to see the blindingly obvious, LOL! Academics, eh!

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