N.H. exhibit celebrates Beckett

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin 100 years ago, and as part of the centenary celebration of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright, poet and novelist is a display at the State Library that also serves as a reminder of the business, cultural and educational ties that have developed between Beckett’s homeland and New Hampshire.

“Beckett: A Centenary Celebration” is on display through Friday, Aug. 18, in the Map Gallery of the State Library at 20 Park St. in Concord.

New Hampshire is the first stop for the national tour, made possible through the collaborative efforts of The New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources, New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center and The Consulate General of Ireland.

The exhibit hopes to highlight not only the masterful work of Beckett – whose most famous work, the play “Waiting for Godot,” is one of the great classics of English and French literature (he wrote it in both languages) — but to remind Granite Staters of the growing number of partnerships between Ireland and New Hampshire.

“This fantastic exhibit has given us the opportunity to showcase and discuss the many cultural, business and educational partnerships that the state of New Hampshire has with the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,” said Van McLeod, commissioner at the Department of Cultural Resources. “These important relationships must be fostered and preserved.”

Stonyfield Farms, the yogurt company headquartered in Londonderry, is the most recent example of cooperative business relationships evolving between New Hampshire and Ireland. Stonyfield Europe recently acquired 37 percent of Glenisk, a business similar to its own that’s headquartered in Ireland.

The son of a surveyor and former nurse, Beckett introduced his concern for human suffering and survival into much of his work. His theatrical writings were influenced by burlesque, vaudeville, music hall and the silent film style of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.

Samples of Beckett’s work along with life events, including time spent with the French Resistance, are brought to life in the month-long exhibit.

“The centenary of Beckett’s birth provides us with an opportune time to celebrate this great artist who endures as one of the leading authors and dramatists of the twentieth century,” said David Barry, consul general of Ireland.

For more information call 271-3136 or visit state.nh.us/nhculture. — TRACIE STONE

Categories: News