The Little Prince

There are few things about which I don't have any doubt, but here is one: by Antoine de Saint Exupéry is one of the greatest books ever.

I read Le Petit Prince — the original French title of the novella — for the first time when I was about eight, and I have read it again a lot of times since then... it is worth it, and also, this great book is a small book.

It is a children's story, yet it is also a philosophical tale, a poetical fable. The novella contains the best lessons of life, love and friendship you can read. Like Alice in Wonderland, it is a novel à tiroirs, with several levels of reading, in which everyone will find something different. Also, you will not find the same thing in it when you read it as a child, a teen or an adult, when you are young... or not that young any more.

To me [the fox said], you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world [...] And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat.
So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near...
Ah said the fox, I shall cry.
It is your own fault, said the little prince. I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you.
Yes, that is so, said the fox.
But now you are going to cry! said the little prince.
Yes, that is so, said the fox.
Then it has done you no good at all!
It has done me good, said the fox, because of the color of the wheat fields.
Goodbye, said the fox. 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.
What is essential is invisible to the eye, the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.
It is the time I have wasted for my rose — said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
Men have forgotten this truth, said the fox. But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose...
I am responsible for my rose, the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

If you haven't read the book yet, you have missed something... Yet you're also a lucky one, because it is a wonderful story to discover. You'll have no difficulty to find it in your native language, : Le Petit Prince is one of the most translated and published books ever.

2 comment(s):

    On 29 September, 2008 00:02 lines_and_between said...

    thank you for pointing out the way to this sure has has shed a lot of warming light upon ..."matters of consequence"


    About friendship,

    "Si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde."

    I like this sentences especially in French, probably because of the verb "s'apprivoiser", as I know not like the English word 'to tame' the French word "s'apprivoiser" means interactive relationship like 'tame each other'..? Is it right..? :) *bisous*


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