Friday, September 10, 2010

Blaming On His Boots The Faults Of His Feet

Great literary figures simultaneously acting as style icons is nothing new.  We've heard many of the same names before - Hemmingway, Kerouac, Wolfe, Faulkner, etc.  Surprisingly, a name that fails to pop up is that of Samuel Beckett.  It's hard to say if the Irish writer's sometimes polarizing work has anything to do with this, but regardless of how you feel about his life's work I think we can all agree that Beckett had some serious style chops.  His look was analogous to his writing, minimalist and often bleak.  Most pictures you find of Beckett find themselves squarely in the category of F/W traditionalism, which is a timeless look.  Beckett seemed to be especially fond of the turtleneck and sportcoat combo.  This is a look I've been seeing a lot lately and one that is quite difficult to pull off no matter how simple its elements may be.  But looking back on Beckett is a wonderful cold weather primer nonetheless.  He was able to cultivate a look that was parts distinguished, ruggedly proper, brooding and clean all rolled into one.  The extremely private author's wife famously called his winning of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Literature a "catastrophe".  Despite his aversion to attention he did entertain his many admirers in Paris up until his death in 1989, though I doubt anybody wanted to talk about his hair.



  1. Nice! It helps that he hung out with great photographers--Cartier-Bresson, etc.

  2. Beckett was one of the trailblazers for inky black skinny denim, also. It is important to note that at the time they were virtually unseen on a man.

  3. Apparently I need to spend much more time pining and brooding as my forehead is woefully incapable of supporting my glasses.

  4. But have any of you actually read his stuff or been to see it? I saw 'Warten auf Godot' (Beckett's translation and direction) in Berlin in 1976, and it was still a bit crap. (Krapp?). 'Fin de Partie' at the Cambridge Arts Theatre in 1978 - really awfully bad. The triumph of the Theatre of the Pretentious. Stick with Neil Simon - stuff you know....


    1. You can't go on. Can you?
      Please don't.

  5. I dig the photo-history regarding his retaining his hairstyle (and head of hair) his entire adult life.

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