I meant to blog, but forgot, the news last week that the remains of Antoine Saint-Exupery’s crashed aircraft, found in 2000, had been positively identified.
Here’s a WSJ Opinion Journal piece on Saint-Exupery, confirming my own puzzled stance on him as a writer.
Instead, they relish Saint-Exupéry’s murky observations, excerpted in “A Guide For Grown-ups: Essential Wisdom from the Collected Works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry” (Harcourt), edited by Anna M. Burgard. Some gems follow: “love is not thinking, but being”; “in giving you are throwing a bridge across the chasm of your solitude”; and “friendship is born from an identity of spiritual goals–from common navigation toward a star.” Being Saint-Exupéry means never having to say you’re sorry.
Sampling the readers’ opinions of his books on amazon.com, one finds admirers hardly less passionate and devout than readers of the Bible and “Das Kapital.” After all, the story of a Little Prince from another planet who enlightens a downed pilot about the real meaning of life is in the domain of spiritual philosophy, however blatantly expressed, belying “The Little Prince’s” perplexing reputation as a book for children.
I know. I must have read The Little Prince when I was young, because I was pretty assiduous about checking off “classics” from my to-read list for a time there, but I remembered nothing about it. Then, when Katie was around 7 or so, I guess, I decided we would read it together. Because you know, it was this charming book. I skipped many pages.
When it comes to little boys and other planets, I’ll take Harold, thanks. He’s more my speed.