The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Publishing: April 6th, 1943 | Picador
"One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.."Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.
“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.”
I've been wanting to read this book or so long so, thank you to MyBibliomaniacs for granting me this opportunity! Is it a childrens' or a teen's books or a grown up's book. Who cares? It speaks to everyone. It is the simple tale of a pilot who is grounded in the desert and meets the enigmatic Prince who has come from another planet. A tiny planet inhabited by the Prince and his beloved flower - and the constant fear of Baobab trees which could overwhelm everything. It is so small that he once watched 44 sunsets. He watches these when he is sad. How sad he must have been on that day observes the narrator. It is a beautiful story about friendship. We laugh as much as we cry.
As the little prince journeys the planets around his own home, Asteroid B612, he encounters a variety of individuals: the Conceited Man, the King, the Accountant, the Drunkard, the Geographer and the Lamplighter. Each one becomes a parable of human nature: or rather, the nature of adults. The Little Prince is a story about childhood, mortality (made all the more poignant by the fact that Saint-Exupery died in action in WW2, the year after the book's publication), friendship, love, hope and the magic in our lives that we are at risk of losing as we grow older. For me it held enormous personal emotional value.“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”But there is also the humour. Normally at the expense of our bizarre adult world. The Prince meets a merchant who sells a pill that means there is no need to drink. This could save several minutes each day. The Little Prince observes that if he had that time he would go to a fountain and have a nice cool drink. St. Exupery is much loved in France. He was even on the money before the Euro arrived. This is much deserved for this little classic alone. Read it in English or French or whatever you like. But read it - now.
The Little Prince is to me, a book of great depth. A book, I would say, more for adults than for children, bearing in mind that even as grown-ups we are still entitled to dream. What is life all about then? A book that it's more contemporary than, possibly, when it was written. Like the Little Prince, grab your dreams, stop and think, make every day a discovery of your true self. Above above all, question your values in this ephemeral world of ours. Don't just be content with the explanation of others; appreciate the little gifts that life is presenting you with and remember, that what is essential is invisible to the eyes. The author's drawing of the empty landscape after his friend's departure still chokes me.