|Samuel Barclay Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. After studying at Trinity College, he lived off and on in Paris and London, teaching and writing, mostly poetry and stories. He finally settled in Paris in 1937. While still quite young, he met James Joyce, another Dublin exile, and they forged a lifelong friendship. He worked briefly as Joyce's secretary and had a romantic relationship with Joyce's disturbed daughter, Lucia. During World War II, Beckett fought with the French resistance. After the war, he made a major creative shift and began writing primarily in French, a language in which he felt greater stylistic freedom. He would often translate his own works into English. The postwar period was one of his most prolific. In 1947 he wrote his first work for the theater, the form in which he would achieve the greatest acclaim. He is particularly well-known for the plays WAITING FOR GODOT (1949), KRAPP'S LAST TAPE, and ENDGAME (both 1958). He experimented ceaselessly as a writer, rejecting traditional form and language in most of his works. He completed his great bleak modernist trilogy of novels (MOLLOY, MALONE DIES, and THE UNNAMEABLE) in the early 1950s. Always fascinated with the underworld and with prisoners, Beckett lived for the last years of his life in a Paris apartment that overlooked a prison exercise yard. He was greatly influenced by the Cartesian idea that the mind and the body are separate entities: for Beckett, the mind is always trying to prove to itself that it really does exist, and to personify the famous dictum of Descartes: "Cogito ergo sum." In 1969, Beckett received the Nobel Prize in literature, cited for creating "new forms for the novel and drama" and for elevating "the destitution of modern man" to literature. He died of emphysema in December 1989, five months after the death of his wife, Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil.