An Irish playwright, poet, and novelist, Beckett is most often described as an absurdist or a postmodernist. His particular brand of drama, however, is distinctive enough to have spawned its own adjective. "Beckettian" is a word now used to denote a work that shows the meaninglessness of human existence, often in a bleakly humorous manner.
Beckett uses techniques and character-types from commedia dell'arte, burlesque, vaudeville, and silent film. He spent some time in Paris in the twenties, befriending James Joyce and translating a segment of Finnegan's Wake into French. Though he returned to Ireland in 1931, his feeling for France was strong enough that he returned to Paris to work for the French Resistance during World War II. Beckett's native language was English, but much of his work was originally written in French. His most famous work is Waiting for Godot (En attendant Godot) during which two men engage in seemingly random conversation while waiting for the arrival of a mysterious personage.
Samples of work by Beckett: Not I, Catastrophe