Quotes by Samuel Beckett


Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
– Samuel Beckett
All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.
– Samuel Beckett
Birth was the death of him.
– Samuel Beckett
Dublin university contains the cream of Ireland: Rich and thick.
– Samuel Beckett
Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.
– Samuel Beckett
Habit is a great deadener.
– Samuel Beckett
How can one better magnify the Almighty than by sniggering with him at his little jokes, particularly the poorer ones.
– Samuel Beckett
I can't go on. I'll go on.
– Samuel Beckett
I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.
– Samuel Beckett
I write about myself with the same pencil and in the same exercise book as about him. It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning.
– Samuel Beckett
It is right that he too should have his little chronicle, his memories, his reason, and be able to recognize the good in the bad, the bad in the worst, and so grow gently old down all the unchanging days, and die one day like any other day, only shorter.
– Samuel Beckett
James Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. I am an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as I can.
– Samuel Beckett
Just under the surface I shall be, all together at first, then separate and drift, through all the earth and perhaps in the end through a cliff into the sea, something of me. A ton of worms in an acre, that is a wonderful thought, a ton of worms, I believe it.
– Samuel Beckett
Let me go to hell, that's all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.
– Samuel Beckett
Make sense who may. I switch off.
– Samuel Beckett
My characters have nothing. I'm working with impotence, ignorance... that whole zone of being that has always been set aside by artists as something unusable - something by definition incompatible with art.
– Samuel Beckett
Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!
– Samuel Beckett
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it's the most comical thing in the world.
– Samuel Beckett
Nothing matters but the writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile... a stain upon the silence.
– Samuel Beckett
Personally I have no bone to pick with graveyards, I take the air there willingly, perhaps more willingly than elsewhere, when take the air I must.
– Samuel Beckett