Prévert, Jacques

Prévert, Jacques

(zhäk prāvĕr`), 1900–1977, French poet. One of the most popular of 20th-century French writers, Prévert produced poetry ranging from the humorous to the satiric to the melancholy. Many of his poems and songs were sung in nightclubs before being collected and published. His volumes of poetry include Paroles (1946), Spectacle (1951), and, in English translation, Selections from Paroles (1958) and To Paint the Portrait of a Bird (tr. by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1970). Prévert wrote many important screenplays, including those for Marcel Carné's Le Jour se lève (1939) and Les Enfants du paradis (1945).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Prévert, Jacques


Born Feb. 4, 1900, in Neuilly-sur-Seine. French poet.

Prévert’s first long narrative poems, Family Reminiscences, or the Guardian Angel (1930) and An Attempt to Depict A Dinner of Heads In Paris, France (1931), satirize the bourgeoisie and the clergy, as well as bear an imprint of surrealism and emphasize the absurdity of existence.

During the years of the Popular Front, Prévert wrote the antifascist narrative poems Bayonet Into the Ground (1936) and Events (1937). His collections include Words and Stories (both 1946), Tales (1947), A Spectacle (1951), and Rain and Good Weather (1955). Prévert’s intimate, philosophical, and humorous lyric poetry is especially popular in France. Many of his poems, set to music, have become popular songs. He has also written works for children.

Prévert is a representative of the school of poetic realism in the French cinema. His best scenarios have been written for the director M. Carné and have included An Amusing Drama (1937), Port of Shadows (1938), Daybreak (1939), Evening Visitors (1942), and Children of Paradise (1945). His scenarios for the films Towed Boats (1941) and Summer Light (1942) were written for the director J. Grémillon.


Imaginaires. [Geneva, 1970.]
In Russian translation:
Stikhi. Moscow, 1960. (Translated by M. Kudinov; foreword by M. Svetlov.)
Izbr. stikhi. Moscow, 1967.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Vaksmakher, M. Frantsuzskaia literatura nashikh dnei. Moscow, 1967.
Baker, w. E. J. Prévert. New York [1967]. (Contains bibliography.)
Bergens, Andrée. J. Prévert. Paris [1969].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.