A new Samuel Beckett festival was inaugurated in Enniskillen, a town in Northern Ireland that until now was more famous for a troubled past than for the arts.
ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — “Happy Days!” said the waiter as he neatly deposited plates of the “Beckett Special Antipasti” (chicken and foie gras terrine, a curried soup with mussels, smoked haddock fish cake) at our table. As this phrase is the title of Samuel Beckett’s 1961 play, and also of a new Beckett festival in this small town, he might well have been joking. But he wasn’t. “Happy days,” as it turns out, is a commonly used salutation in these parts.