Jacques Prévert was born on February 4, 1900 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He was the eldest of three children and would always be very close to his young brother Pierre. Jacques Prévert didn't like school, so after getting his "certificat d'études" in 1914, he began to do several jobs, along with raising his interest for litterature.
In 1920 he accomplished his military duty in Lunéville. He met there the painter Yves Tanguy and Marcel Duhamel, the futur foundator of "La Série Noire". Then he was sent to Turkey.
In 1920, back to Paris, he became friend with the surrealists, André Breton, Desnos, Aragon, Artaud, and his appartment became their meeting place. He invented with them the game called "le cadavre exquis" . The journalist François Bott wrote in "le Monde" about that period : "One didn't eat every day, but one heard jazz every night." In 1925 Prévert married Simone, "his childhood girlfriend".
In 1928 he disagreed with André Breton, who was according to him a too authoritarian leader : "Hélas, je ne reverrai plus l’illustre pallotin du monde occidental qui confondit le désespoir et le mal de foie, la Bible et les chants de Maldoror." (?? I'll never more see the ?? ?? of the western world, who confused hopelessness with ?? and the Bible with "the songs of Maldoror") ("the songs of Maldoror" is a poem by Lautréamont). He left then the surrealist movement. During the 30's he published his first writings, theatre plays for the "Groupe Octobre" that he had founded with some friends, then movie sripts and dialogs for Marcel Carné or Jean Renoir. He also met Joseph Kosma who would put music on several writings of his. He separated from his wife and fell in love with a young actress called Jacqueline Laurent.
In 1939, fidèle à ses convictions antimilitaristes, il se fait réformer en simulant des troubles mentaux. During the war he worked with several jewish artists like Kosma, the composer, and Trauner, the decorator. On the radio were heard more and more of his poems with a music by Kosma. In 1945 he published "Paroles", that has been the best sold poem ?? until today. That year was also the time of his last collaboration with Carné and of the birth of his daughter Michèle.
In 1947 he wrote a script for "la Bergère et le Ramoneur" by Grimault. He published then several other poems until his death in 1977 in Omonville-la-petite.
1932: L'affaire est dans le sac - Pierre Prévert
(les dates indiquées sont celles de la première édition)
1946: Paroles, Gallimard