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Happy Days

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  3,091 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In 'Happy Days, ' Beckett pursues his relentless search for the meaning of existence, probing the tenuous relationships that bind one person to another, and each to the universe, to time past and time present.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published November 30th 1998 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 1960)
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Mary Poppins by P.L. TraversThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie FordSoulless by Gail CarrigerThe Weather Girl by Amy Vastine
30th out of 164 books — 128 voters
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodCollected Fictions by Jorge Luis BorgesThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyHappy Days by Samuel BeckettThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
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3rd out of 99 books — 4 voters

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At the start of Happy Days, we see Winnie - a plump, fifty-year-old housewife of a woman – buried to her waist in the centre of a mound of earth. The sun blazes down in the form of a powerful spotlight. A barren landscape stretches into the distance. Beside Minnie on the mound are a large bag and a parasol. Throughout the play, she removes items from the bag, including a Browning automatic revolver (‘Brownie’) and a toothbrush. Halfway through the first of two short acts the parasol bursts into ...more
Wow... It left me all depressed and disillusioned of life, death and everything in between!

What I like is that the play begins with a surreal and bizarre situation and this doesn't clear up which kind of makes you imagine all kinds of reasons about why and how the woman and her husband are stuck there and living like that. There is so much in this play that makes it worth to read or see!

Winnie seems swallowed by the earth, can't walk first and in act two can't move anything but her head, and st
Sheldon L
A very sobering tale on the meaninglessness of life! I think that it's a very deep play that really requires punctuational respect. That is, if it says "Pause", please pause! Because the emotion is only evoked if the play is read correctly or acted correctly.

I like how it really intensifies emotions of our seeming meaningless lives... i.e. when one looks back in a million years, every thing we ever did do (and when we do anything in life, we do it seriously and invest a great deal of care!) will
Λίγοι ήρωες έχουν τόσο έντονη σχέση με τις λέξεις όσο η Γουίννυ. Να μιλάει συνέχεια -καθώς το έχει ανάγκη- λέγοντας όλο και λιγότερα. Σαν να προτιμά τη σιωπή που ισχυρίζεται πως φοβάται.

"Να έχω υπάρξει πάντοτε αυτό που είμαι -και να έχω αλλάξει τόσο πολύ απ' αυτό που υπήρξα. Είμαι η μία, η μία λέω, και μετά η άλλη. Τώρα η μία, μετά η άλλη. Έμειναν τόσο λίγα που μπορείς να πεις -τα λέμε όλα. Όλα που μπορούμε να πούμε. Και καμία αλήθεια, πουθενά."

Ο μονόλογος σιωπής του Μπέκετ έχει σαφή στόχο: εμάς
John Pistelli
Fascinating but not my favorite. Evidently Beckett regarded Winnie as a kind of earth mother spirit, indomitable, and I do find some patronizing piety or maybe just pity here, a refusal of the corrosive irony Beckett's male heroes have to endure in the midst of their own eschatological travails. The idea of the setting as a kind of post-apocalyptic degraded vacation-destination beach where the blazing bleaching sun never sets is wonderful, as is the whole mystery of the play's circumstance, lite ...more
Another great play. Another happy day.
Ben Loory
this is a heartbreaking play, and probably the purest and most unsparing of beckett's visions, which is saying something. some irony in the fact that winnie is beckett's saddest character despite (because of) the fact that she is the most optimistic.

it's hard to believe an actress could actually pull this play off. it's basically a sixty page stationary monologue (winnie's buried waist- (and then neck-) deep through the whole thing, with only the contents of her bag to work with). i would pay an
Marcy Italiano
I have read this play before, and I've had the great pleasure of seeing it in the theater years ago. I reread it because I'm thinking of writing a Beckett-ish play next (look for a Waiting for Godot review soon). I enjoyed it again.

Happy Days is a jumpy little play, which says a lot only about the dialogue as the characters don't really move, and actors have to be VERY good to carry this one. Winnie and Willie are the only two characters, Winny lives waist-deep in a hill and Willie on the mound
Julia Boechat Machado
Feb 26, 2011 Julia Boechat Machado marked it as to-read
Vi essa peça no Palácio das Artes, representada pela Adriana Asti e Giovanni Batista Storti, com montagem de Joel-Peter Witkin e direção de Robert Wilson. A peça é praticamente um monólogo de Winnie (Asti), que está enterrada até a cintura, e, posteriormente, até o pescoço. Além disso, Winnie tem apenas alguns objetos à mão, e fala obsessivamente de alguns temas. Asti deu uma atuação incrível, não perdeu a platéia por um segundo.
Tenho vontade de ler o livro.
Very odd play. I does take patience and a complete alert brain to get through it. It does take a little extra research to completely understand the meanings behind the whole thing. I recommend doing some research on the different levels of dante's Hell and just some spark noting of this play. I will help.
David Allen
An absurdist parable about a woman who tries to find the best in her lot as her options narrow in a literal sense, buried up to her waist in sand at first and later up to her neck, her beloved husband virtually invisible and uncommunicative. A proto-feminist work (1961) and one of Beckett's most touching plays.
Giles Lawrence
Kinda weird. I was left confused at the questions raised by Winnie, so absurd yet so necessary. She seems content with herself, yet has serious inner doubts about the earth/mound in which she exists. It seems like Beckett tries to recreate Shakespeare's style of verse but with his own modernist twist throughout the drama, rather venturesome but effective. I tried to find some sort of message but struggled - perhaps that is in fact the central idea, life is meaningless. Pretty good, would recomme ...more
Happy Days presents a bleak landscape that is severed from anything like the real world. A woman, Winnie, is buried up to her waist in a mound at center stage. There is one other character, Willie, who for most of the play is hidden behind the mound, burrowing head first into it. However unrealistic this sounds there is a certain realism from her handbag that contains some of the detritus of everyday life that plays an important role for Winnie. She is a seemingly irrepressibly cheerful woman wh ...more
Elisabeth Sepulveda
Provocative read on the meaninglessness of life, or the way we live it....Focusing on the fact that habitual tendencies can bar us from making conscious decisions about our futures, and the circumstances we find ourselves in can only be exposed for what they are when called out in a sense of absurdity and defamiliarization. Also, the "I talk therefore I am" habit as a response to alienation in society, and our fruitless (at times) efforts towards individuation in spite of no true personal distin ...more
Jared Della Rocca
After reading the play, I switched over and watched the play online, as I found it harder to parse the meaning in between the stage directions. Having those directions actually acted out allowed me to, for lack of a better phrase, see the big picture. It's a really interesting play, brief though it is, that visualized for me both the sands of time, and the ruts we find ourselves in through life. As Winnie is slowly swallowed by Mother Earth, she becomes more and more concerned about whether Will ...more
Léonard Gaya
"Oh les beaux jours" : sans doute l'une des plus belles, des plus drôles et des plus émouvantes pièces de Beckett. Une femme bavarde seule, et, chose étrange, est a-demi enterrée, dans un mamelon de terre. Un homme énigmatique se tient derrière elle. Son discours est banal : elle prie, se rappelle, se réjouit, se sent gagnée par la décrépitude de l'âge. Dans son sac, un revolver, qu'elle n'utilisera pas. Au deuxième acte, elle est enterrée jusqu'au cou et, hormis le visage, a perdu l'usage de so ...more
It's difficult for me to give an honest review of this play, one because I've never actually seen it preformed (and plays are in no way meant to be read like this, especially Happy Days with all its stage directions interrupting the lines beyond easy readability) and two because the subject matter is a bit above my head (in the sense that it seems to focus on a long marriage, something I have no personal experience with). That said, the play is enjoyable and seems to have a firm grip on what it' ...more
I imagine that Beckett's plays are an acquired taste and certainly seeing them performed elevates the re-reading experience, helps the effects and the affect to percolate. Rereading, Happy Days now, though, after reading the actress interviews in Women in Beckett, has me appreciating this play even more. Realizing that all of Beckett's embedded directions--facial expressions, for example--are not left to the actress as interpretable but are meant to be followed verbatim as Beckett scripted them ...more
Since I’m usually not really fond of Beckett’s plays, I should have tried to avoid this one. However, I was obliged to read it for one of my university courses, and I have to admit that I have never struggled so much in reading a play. It is flooded by stage directions that obstruct the reading experience, and it tired me out so much. Despite its tiny length, I had to take many breaks whilst reading in order for me to concentrate on it. I’m not doubting the great messages its analysis brings to ...more
Beckett wanted to strip back theatre to it's bare minimum - but the simplification of this play is not enough. It's complicated anecdotes and excruciatingly meticulous stage directions make for a slow paced read. Reading it was like lying in bed at the height of sleepiness but being unable to drop off (a metaphor as weird as Beckett's play itself).

Yet though I wouldn't go as far as to say I liked it - better to say I respected it. Beckett's philosophy is incredible and stirring. His work is argu
Being the mega Beckett fan that I am and having loved everything so far that I have picked up from the man, it really is no shock that I gave Happy Days five out of five stars, but what did come as a shock to me was how deep it cut into my being. I might even go so far as to say that I liked this play better than Waiting for Godot because of how it still occupies my thoughts and I don't think it’s going away anytime soon.
Far from nihilistic, "Happy Days" is not the joke I thought it would be: another attack on the possibility of happiness or meaning. In spite of everything, the torture and the melancholy, the play is filled by the possibility of human hope in the face of meaninglessness--a hope born out of the connections we make with other people. Perhaps Beckett at his most hopeful, and certainly Beckett at his finest.
Žydrūnas Jonušas
Labai stiprus ir sunkokas kūrinys. Absurdiškai dramatiška pjesė egzistenciškai klausia, kas yra tas mūsų gyvenimas ir visgi galop nuteikia optimistiškai, kad gyventi reikia bet kokiu atveju, džiaugtis šia deina ir neabejoti gyvenimu. Labai norėčiau pamatyti kokį nors vaidinimą pagal šią pjesę :) kūrinys lengvesnis nei "Belaukiant Godo", bet taip pat sudėtingas ir verčiantis įtemptai mąstyt.
I think you need to see or hear it rather than read it...
Reading this for my summer job at Cal Shakes (, and very much looking forward to this production (opens this week, and I may revise this review after seeing it live). I've only seen Godot onstage previously, so I'm curious about how the audience reacts to this one. Did you ever hear the rumor that Beckett was Andre the Giant's carpool driver?
Uno se li scorda, i classici. (Pausa). Oh, non tutti. (Pausa). Una parte. (Pausa). Una parte resta. (Pausa). E’ questo che trovo meraviglioso, una parte resta, dei classici, ad aiutarci a passare il giorno. (Pausa). Eh sì, una grazia, una vera grazia. (Pausa). E adesso? (Pausa). E adesso, Willie?

E adesso niente, Winnie. (Lunga pausa).

David Williamson
Its not a play that is to be read from the page it appears, due to all the stage directions. You do get a sense of the absurd, banal, repetition of Beckett and a sense of there is something being said here, but the interruptions of the stage directions stop any continuity. Probably a Beckett play to be seen not read.
روزهای خوش نمایش نامه ای دو پرده ای ست که پس از "آخرین نوار کراپ"، و به عنوان یک نمایش نامه ی شاد نوشته شده. روزهای خوش هم مانند اغلب کارهای مهم بکت به فارسی ترجمه شده اما در مورد این که منتشر شده باشد، تردید دارم.

در مورد "تیاتر ابزورد" اینجا را بخوانید
Henry Yan
An interesting quote that i stumbled upon was "No better, no worse, no change no pain." I do not entirely agree with this quote because if a person is already in pain and if they do not change their situation into something better, they will continue to experience pain. Sometimes change is good.
if the coetzee was a great way to end 07, this was a fantastic way to start 08, in preparation for fiona shaw at bam. at first, the stage directions were a bit off-putting, but soon the rhythm kicked in and the precision of the movement and language meshed brilliantly. sheer genius.
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Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in France for most of his adult life. He wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.

Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Strongly influenced
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“If you don't know where you are currently standing, you're dead.” 42 likes
“Another happy day.” 6 likes
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