Sunday, 5 September 2010

Running a bit late and on fewer bananas than usual…

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupe’ry

Lifespan: b. 1900 (France), d. 1944 (In the air)
First Published: 1943
First Published by: Reynal & Hitchcock (New York)
Original Title: Le Petit Prince

I remember when I read this as a child, and then I remembered when I read it to my child. A dear friend of mine gave it to her for her birthday. It is a wondrous story and if you have not read it, oh you should!

“Set in the heart of the Sahara, the tale unfolds after Saint-Exupe’ry’s pilot-narrator finds himself stranded with a “broken” engine, facing the prospect of “life or death”. The very largest question of all lies at the heart of the tale: one’s life and how one spends it.”

It is a tale of the inner child told in the form of the little prince, who asks his adult mentor so many questions. “The dialogue between narrator and child is a form of self address.”

It is also a tale about rediscovering one’s imagination. In this way the child teaches the adult. “The child tutors the adult in the sacred art of wondering. Written during the final year of his life, Saint-Exupe’ry’s The Little Prince reads as a manifesto on how the adult life can and should be lived.”

It seems the appropriate book to review at the end of this long, long week. I spent this week dealing with our ex-wife, the final remains and ruins of the adorable husband’s hope for the ideal marriage (in the form of the final moving out of and selling the house) and family that never came to pass, a cranky step-child, and the Texas heat! It has been a long week!

On the other hand – I accomplished all the organizing to get back in gear on my book, put in play all the reservations for the writer’s conference in Surrey in October, took delivery of my posh new treadmill, and did some serious online shopping, and had a wonderful long conversation with my exceptionally wonderful daughter.



Sparx said...

I run late on low bananas all the time.

I admit that I read this book as a child and then again as an adult because I felt that I should and the magic has always escaped me; I must read it again as I feel I should love it... I've always felt a little as though I've failed myself in some way by not liking the book...

Ian Lidster said...

I actually read Le Petit Prince in (ahem) French the first time I ran into it. It was in a university French class, so I'm not professing to be that cosmopolitan. Maybe a little bit, but not that much. Added to which, when I was last in France in 2006 I found I had forgotten more French that I once knew. By the way, it is a charming little metaphorical tale.

lady macleod said...

I just don't buy into that everyone should enjoy every book named as "classic" - who knows who makes up those list?! I enjoyed this book, but not near as much as "The Velveteen Rabbit". Now THERE'S a classic to my mind.
Thank you for coming by.

"In (ahem) French" - you dog you! I agree it is charming in any language.
Thank you for coming by.