Steven Connor, one of the most influential critics of twentieth-century literature and culture, has spent much of his career writing and thinking about Samuel Beckett. This book presents Connor's finest published work on Beckett alongside fresh essays that explore how Beckett has shaped major themes in modernism and twentieth-century literature. Through discussions of sport, nausea, slowness, flies, the radio switch, religion and academic life, Connor shows how Beckett's writing is characteristic of a distinctively mundane or worldly modernism, arguing that it is well-attuned to our current concern with the stressed relations between the human and natural worlds. Through Connor's analysis, Beckett's prose, poetry and dramatic works animate a modernism profoundly concerned with life, worldly existence and the idea of the world as such. Lucid, provocative, wide-ranging, and richly informed by critical and cultural theory, this book is required reading for anyone teaching or studying Beckett, modernism and twentieth-century literary studies.