Jacques Prévert

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Jacques Prévert (French pronunciation: [ʒak pʁeˈvɛʁ]; 4 February 1900 - 11 April 1977) was a French poet and screenwriter. His poems became and remain very popular in the French-speaking world, particularly in schools. Some of the movies he wrote are extremely well-regarded, with Les Enfants du Paradis considered one of the greatest films of all time.


Life and education

Prévert was born at Neuilly-sur-Seine and grew up in Paris. After receiving his Certificat d'études upon completing his primary education, he quit school and went to work in Le Bon Marché, a major department store in Paris. Called up for military service in 1918, after the war, he was sent to the Near East to defend French interests there.

He died in Omonville-la-Petite, on 11 April 1977. He had been working on the last scene of the animated movie Le Roi et l'oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird) with his friend and collaborator Paul Grimault. When the film was released in 1980, it was dedicated to Prévert's memory, and on opening night, Grimault kept the seat next to him empty.


Prévert participated actively in the Surrealist movement. Together with the writer Raymond Queneau and artist Marcel Duchamp, he was a member of the Rue du Château group. He was also a member of the agitprop Groupe Octobre.

16th century · 17th century
18th century · 19th century
20th century · Contemporary

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Poets · Essayists
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