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Credit: Michael Peto/© University Of Dundee, The Peto Collection Samuel Beckett at home in his Paris apartment in 1961

"Having oscillated all his life between the torments of a superficial loitering and the horrors of disinterested endeavour, he finds himself at last in a situation where to do nothing exclusively would be an act of the highest value, and significance."― Samuel Beckett, Watt

Michael Peto's archive - in pictures

Credit: Michael Peto/© University Of Dundee, The Peto Collection Maggie Smith in 1964, during the production of Hay Fever at the National Theatre

Samuel Beckett (1906–1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.