UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Before the curtain falls : Samuel Beckett and E.M. Cioran Friesen, Michael


Samuel Beckett and E.M. Cioran are two of the twentieth century’s best-known pessimists. Yet few scholars outside of France are aware of the fact the two were friends for many years before going their separate ways. This thesis examined their friendship so as to clarify their political and philosophical agreements and disagreements. It did so primarily by consulting the two writers’ correspondence and Cioran’s journal entries. This research determined that Beckett and Cioran fell out as friends as a result of political differences that first became apparent in the mid-1970s. (The former became politically active in this decade and lost patience with the latter’s resignation.) The main conclusions drawn from this study were that Beckett was politically progressive despite his pessimism and that Cioran was unable to re-engage with politics following his youthful nationalism.

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