The Little Prince

Once in a lifetime, there comes along a novel that is so touching, so innocently poignant, that just by reading it, you feel your heart shatter and soar at the same time. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Éxupéry is the apotheosis of all such novels.  Published in 1943, it has become one of the bestselling novels of all time, sold more than 80 million copies and been translated into more than 180 languages¹.  Some would classify it as a childish story. Perhaps it is. Yet to categorize it as such would be to deny the fundamental philosophical truths it hides behind the simplicity of the narrative. 

In 2006, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit France. One of my first reactions to the old continent was how deeply engraved The Little Prince was in french culture*.  It seemed the philosophical lessons of this short novel were everywhere, to be read or to be bought.  The Little Prince has morphed into a capitalist’s dream: his notebooks, postcards, bookmarks can be bought everywhere. I should know… I bought a few myself.  

Do not let that stop you. Do not judge this book by how commercially successful it is. There is a reason behind the fervor. Do not reduce it to “children’s literature”. It would be reducing the human heart to a mere muscle. Do not judge it by its cover… Antoine de Saint-Éxupéry has achieved the seemingly impossible: he has illustrated (both linguistically and visually) all that is beautiful about love. 

Reader, whoever you are, I urge you: let the little prince seduce you. He will break your heart in the best way possible.

 

The Little Prince

“What makes the desert beautiful,” says the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well.”

 

¹wikipedia

*Literally; on my first or second day, I saw a carving of the Prince on a sidewalk. 

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3 Comments

Filed under Classic, Fantasy, Fiction, Novella

3 responses to “The Little Prince

  1. Em

    Omg, The Little Prince is just a perfect story that will live through the generation because it is simply pure innocence . I’ve been in love with this book since I was a child, and I’ll probably never stop loving it.

    my favorite quote:

    *Ah comme je suis belle, je suis née en même temps que le soleil*

    And I’ll never know why. I just love this quote (after all, I was born in the afternoon.)

  2. I have read this book many years ago but I still remember how the little prince and the fox became friends…very touching.

    …and the drawing of the constrictor boa that looks like a hat 🙂 and how important it was for the fox that the prince should come to visit at the same time everyday so he would know exactly when to start getting excited…or something like that.. and how the fields of ripening
    wheat would remind the fox of the little prince’s golden hair.

    it’s one of my treasured books..

    • melilysa

      One of my favorite parts! I love the way the fox is so keen on taming the Little Prince. Breathtakingly beautiful…

      I saw a t-shirt with the drawing of the constrictor boa last week! I couldn’t help but smiling; I felt like Saint-Éxupéry was winking at me from his grave. Those are the best moments in life… When you feel like someone, something is reaching out for your hand and telling you that they understand. It might have been only a t-shirt to some but for me it was proof that we are all somehow linked through literature, history and art.

      I am really glad someone else loves the book as much as I do! 🙂

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