Life and career
He earned a degree in literature and worked for a publishing house. He published several poetry collections in the 1930s before starting to write for the stage. After World War Two, Tardieu entered the world of radio and worked his way to head of dramatic programming and then director of programs at France-Music. The quality and success of French National Public Radio after World War Two has been attributed largely to Jean Tardieu.
Tardieu's works mingled with the ideals of the French New Theatre and used comedy to pick apart more traditional theatre. He is often associated with the Theatre of the Absurd.
Some of his work has been translated into English, including:
- The Underground Lovers, and other experimental plays
- Going...Going...Gone! The Client Dies Twice: Three Plays (Black Apollo Press, ISBN 1-900355-21-3)
- The River Underground: Selected Poems & Prose
The French composer Germaine Tailleferre of Les Six, who was a harp student of Tardieu's mother Caroline and who first met Tardieu as a child, set several of Tardieu's poems to music notably in the "Concerto des Vaines Paroles" for Baritone Voice, Piano and Orchestra and in the cycle "Trois Poèmes de Jean Tardieu" for Voice and Piano.
He was a great friend of Jean René Bazaine who turned his poem L'Ombre, la branche into a fine illustrated art book.( Maeght Éditeur, 1977: 150 ex. with 16 colored litho's, 50 ex. with three added litho's.)
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