Feb 12, 2010

Nostalgic Friday: Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)

Welcome back to Nostalgic Friday! Since I love all things historical (culturally, physically, and personally) I do a post on Fridays honoring some awesome book that is a bit older. Many of them are books I enjoyed in my teens and others are books that I discovered as an adult that I think are relevant to YA readers.

This week's selection is Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exup -->éry. My degree, as useless as many claim it to be, is in French and International Studies. Therefore, I LOVE it when French-language books are embraced by non-French speaking audiences. This one is probably the most well-known French book other than the wildly popular Babar.

In the simplest of terms, this story follows the life of a little prince from Asteroid 325 as he explores other planets to cure his loneliness. While he meets adults along the way, he doesn't really care for their ways of life and what they do. The little prince just wants to enjoy life to the fullest and experience all that the universe has to offer. His exposure to the interesting characters he encounters along the way show him the truth that:
Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

This philosophical and enigmatic little novel, while only 96 pages, is an absolute must read! The little prince is absolutely charming and heart-breaking at the same time. He is so sad and lonely on his planet that he decides to travel in search of things with which to occupy himself. It is really a great journey of self-discovery that kind of reminds me of an Aboriginal walkabout. While the story is about the little prince's journey, it is actually written from a narrator's point of view; he is the crashed pilot who meets the little prince in the Sahara Desert. Through his eyes do we experience the little prince and the "longing for a simpler time" that he represents.

This book, while written mainly for children, is a great inspiration to any age. It encourages the reader to learn all that they can through exploration and experimentation, while being cognizant of how their own experiences has altered their perception. Many people fall in love with the book do to the poignant symbolism that the little prince represents. I just liked the story, the symbolism came later. :) S'amuse bien! (Enjoy yourselves!)

1 comment:

April said...

I love The Little Prince, it's such a delightful book :-)