Le petit prince

Aviator, journalist, but most famously recognized for being an author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is one of the best known French writers all over the world. Let’s uncover some of the most interesting moments from his relatively short life and the beauty of his Little Prince story. 

“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.” - The Little Prince

Translated to over 300 languages, sold over 140 million copies worldwide, The Little Prince is the most popular of Saint-Exupéry’s literary work. The story begins with pilot crashing into the Sahara desert where he meets a golden hair boy - the little prince, who is a prince of a planet. Two characters get to know each other and become friends. They discover several planets and their inhabitants together. The Little Princes teaches the pilot about the importance of life and friendship. For the end you will have to read the book yourself, if you haven’t done so yet. You will also most definitely apprieciate the illustrations that accompany the story and that were created by Saint-Exupéry himself. 

Although small in the amount of pages, book’s greatness lies in what it delivers. A story that can be read to little children, to young adults, to older adults, a story that you can read again in different periods of life and each time it gives you something else, a different angle, a different perspective. A story that might seem minimalistic, but carries huge wisdom within itself. A story that teaches us about friendship, about love, about the power of a bond, about human nature itself, about what truly is important in life. A story that can break your heart and live a bittersweet taste after finishing, yet still feeling like you have just finished reading something beautiful. Everyone should own a copy and have it in his/her bookshelf to return to!

Saint-Exupéry was born in 1990 into an aristocratic family in Lyon, France. As a young adult he joined the military service and was soon transferred to the French Air Force. His first official post was in Casablanca, Morocco. During his aviation career Saint-Exupéry lived through many airplane crashes. One of his most severe crushes in the deserts of Libya has later inspired him to write The Little Prince. After the crush, he spent four days wandering around the desert until being found by a bedouin. While suffering from dehydration, Saint-Exupéry experienced hallucinations, which served as a basis for the storyline of the book.

After spending a couple of years in Morocco, Saint-Exupéry was transferred to Argentina where he established many new air routes which are still used up until today. During his times in Argentina, Saint-Exupéry married Consuelo Suncin, writer and artist from El Salvador. One of his first books - Vol de nuit (Night Flight) is not only set in Buenos Aires, but is also the first publication that gained him worldwide recognition. 

With the beginning of the World War II, after German invasion of France, Saint-Exupéry flew to the United Stated into an exile. He also stayed in Canada for a while where he was asked to write a book for children. The book has later on turned into the famous Little Prince. After more than 2 years in the Northern America, the writer returned to fight with the French Air Force. On July 31, 1944, Saint-Exupéry took off from an airbase in Corsica and he never returned. Few days after his disappearance a body in uniform was found few miles south of Marseille, which was many years later confirmed to be Saint-Exupéry’s. His identity bracelet was found in 1998 and remains of his aircraft were also found in 2003. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is up until today one of the most celebrated and awarded Frenchmen, even called a national hero by some. His legacy lies not only in the famous Little Prince, but can be traced throughout his whole life. 

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