Read El principito by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Free Online
Book Title: El principito|
The author of the book: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Edition: Editorial Legado S.A.
Date of issue: February 1st 2011
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 536 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.3
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*** For those who somehow have no idea about what happens in The Little Prince or cannot figure it out at a reasonable spot in the book, here is a warning - THERE WILL BE, as much as I hate applying this term to this incredibly famous classic that does not rely on Aha! moments to keep the readers' attention, SPOILERS! ****
'You do understand that the Little Prince died?' my mother asked as carefully and gently as only adults who know that loss of innocence can be crushing but is brutally necessary can do.
'No, he didn't. He went back to his home planet and that stupid rose. It says so right here,' I replied with the comforting stubbornness of an eight-year-old.
Later that night, I quietly reread the book and the sad truth clicked, and so did the belated thought that for all the gentle berating of adults in it, this strange and beautiful book was written by one of them and definitely for them, and not for me, and by luring me in with the beautiful pictures it pushed me just a bit further on the inevitable road to adulthood.
Or so I see now.
Back then, I decided to read the author's biography instead as a distraction from the thoughts that were trying to be a bit more grown-up than my heart cared for - I was the odd kid of a literature teacher mother, after all - just to learn that just after writing this book, Antoine de Saint Exupery died when flying his plane in a war to liberate his country, killed by adults who played a game of war, too dangerous and cruel. And that finally made me cry.
And then I went back to the simple security of childhood.
Then I grew up, inevitably, like most of us do. I learned to do my fair share of 'matters of consequence'. I learned the painful understanding of why certain vain but naive roses can hold such sad power over our hearts. I learned the comfort and longing of nostalgia, the fear of the crushing burden of loneliness, the understanding of fragile beauty of the world that can be so easily taken away at any moment. I became a grown-up, and I have to learn to reconcile my inner child with my outer age. "In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence. I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn't much improved my opinion of them." Now, reading this intensely lyrical and mesmerizing book written by an ailing middle-aged adult far away from the country he loved in the middle of war-torn years, I am confronted with emotions that ruthlessly hurt, hidden in the deceiving simplicity of a (supposedly) children's story just like an elephant was hidden inside a boa constrictor - or was it simply a hat all along? - in the opening paragraphs of this book. I sigh and tear up, and try to resist the urge to pick up the golden-haired child that never stopped until he got answers to his questions and carry him away into safety. But I can't. Because if I do so, there will never be 500 billion bells in the stars, and we will never wonder whether the rose is still alive - and it needs to be, because we are responsible for those we have tamed. "But I was not reassured. I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed." This is not a book for children. It's for adults who remember being children and feel nostalgia for the simple comfort of childhood innocence but know they can never go back to it. Because they have met their Roses, and Foxes, and drank from a well with a rusty handle in the desert, and learned that a few thorns may not stand against the claws of a tiger. Unlike the Little Prince, they can no longer go back - but they can look at the night starry sky and laugh, and imagine that they hear an answering clear laughter. "In certain more important details I shall make mistakes, also. But that is something that will not be my fault. My friend never explained anything to me. He thought, perhaps, that I was like himself. But I, alas, do not know how to see sheep through t he walls of boxes. Perhaps I am a little like the grown-ups. I have had to grow old."
'What makes the desert beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that somewhere it hides a well.'
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Read information about the authorAntoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyons on June 29, 1900. He flew for the first time at the age of twelve, at the Ambérieu airfield, and it was then that he became determined to be a pilot. He kept that ambition even after moving to a school in Switzerland and while spending summer vacations at the family's château at Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, in eastern France. (The house at Saint-Maurice appears again and again in Saint-Exupéry's writing.)
Later, in Paris, he failed the entrance exams for the French naval academy and, instead, enrolled at the prestigious art school l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1921 Saint-Exupéry began serving in the military, and was stationed in Strasbourg. There he learned to be a pilot, and his career path was forever settled.
After leaving the service, in 1923, Saint-Exupéry worked in several professions, but in 1926 he went back to flying and signed on as a pilot for Aéropostale, a private airline that flew mail from Toulouse, France, to Dakar, Senegal. In 1927 Saint-Exupéry accepted the position of airfield chief for Cape Juby, in southern Morocco, and began writing his first book, a memoir called Southern Mail, which was published in 1929. He then moved briefly to Buenos Aires to oversee the establishment of an Argentinean mail service; when he returned to Paris in 1931, he published Night Flight, which won instant success and the prestigious Prix Femina.
Always daring, Saint-Exupéry tried in 1935 to break the speed record for flying from Paris to Saigon. Unfortunately, his plane crashed in the Libyan desert, and he and his copilot had to trudge through the sand for three days to find help. In 1938 he was seriously injured in a second plane crash, this time as he tried to fly between New York City and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The crash resulted in a long convalescence in New York.
Saint-Exupéry's next novel, Wind, Sand and Stars, was published in 1939. A great success, the book won the Académie Française's Grand Prix du Roman (Grand Prize for Novel Writing) and the National Book Award in the United States. At the beginning of the Second World War, Saint-Exupéry flew reconnaissance missions for France, but he went to New York to ask the United States for help when the Germans occupied his country. He drew on his wartime experiences to write Flight to Arras and Letter to a Hostage, both published in 1942. His classic The Little Prince appeared in 1943. Later in 1943 Saint-Exupéry rejoined his French air squadron in northern Africa. Despite being forbidden to fly (he was still suffering physically from his earlier plane crashes), Saint-Exupéry insisted on being given a mission. On July 31, 1944, he set out from Borgo, Corsica, to overfly occupied France. He never returned.
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