Literature Meme: (3/10) Prose
↳ Le Petit Prince / The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince is a poetic tale, with watercolour illustrations by the author, in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid.
The story is philosophical and includes societal criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world.
Though ostensibly a children’s book, The Little Prince makes several profound and idealistic observations about life and human nature. For example, Saint-Exupéry tells of a fox meeting the young prince during his travels on Earth.
The story’s essence is contained in the lines uttered by the fox to the little prince: On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. (“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”) (x)
"Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia, née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin" (1908) (detail) by Caspar Ritter (1861-1923).
BREAKING: Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Malala, now 17, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago in her home country of Pakistan after coming to prominence for her campaigning for education for girls.
She won for what the Nobel committee called her “heroic struggle” for girls’ right to an education.
She is the youngest ever winner of the prize. (x)
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Oscar Wilde’s letter to an Oxford student on the uselessness of art:
My Dear Sir
Art is useless because its aim is simply to create a mood. It is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way. It is superbly sterile, and the note of its pleasure is sterility. If the contemplation of a work of art is followed by activity of any kind, the work is either of a very second-rate order, or the spectator has failed to realise the complete artistic impression.
A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy. We gain a moment of joy by looking at it. That is all that is to be said about our relations to flowers. Of course man may sell the flower, and so make it useful to him, but this has nothing to do with the flower. It is not part of its essence. It is accidental. It is a misuse. All this is I fear very obscure. But the subject is a long one.
THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL
“The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected.” - W. Somerset Maugham
Charles Baudelaire’s copy of the French 1st edition of Les Fleurs du Mal turned to the poem Spleen