Monday, April 7, 2008

Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Title: The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)
Author & Illustrator: Antoine de Saint Exupéry  (trans. by Katherine Woods)
Year: 1943
Country: France
Pages: 111
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Little Prince is a beautiful children's story narrated by a pilot who crashed in the Sahara Desert. While trying to fix his plane, he meets a little prince from another planet  who asks him to draw a sheep. "When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey. Absurd as it might seem to me, a thousand miles from any human habitation and in danger of death, I took out of my pocket a sheet of paper and my fountain-pen." (p.8) Thus begins the start of a dialogue in which the little Prince describes his planet, and how he came to Earth.

The Little Prince is a child's view of the world, but it is certainly not for children alone. The story is a remarkable reflection of the human character. I look forward to re-visiting this story with Baby Maya, and to take the time to reflect upon the many metaphors present in this novella.

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." (p.87)

"What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well..." (p.93)

Interesting facts about the author:
In 1935, Antoine de Saint Exupéry crashed in the Sahara enroute from Paris to Saigon. He and his companion were rescued 4 days later when a Bedouin on a camel discovered them. This experience is referenced at the beginning of the story.

Tragically, in 1944, one year after The Little Prince was published, Saint Exupéry disappeared while on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean. The remains of his plane weren't found until 1998.


Anonymous said...

I just read this a month or so ago. What a beautiful, sad, wonderful book.

Myrthe said...

Just two weeks or so ago, the German pilot who shot de Saint Exupéry down, came forward and admitted what he had done. He said that, had he known who was flying the plane he shot down, he wouldn't have shot. Try a Google search and you should find more info on this. It was in the news just very recently.

Nyssaneala said...

shereads - I completely agree!

myrthe - I read about that, but I thought there was some controversy, because people thought Exupery's plane crashed, but was never shot down?