The Little Prince

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by Leandra Medine
May 28, 2013
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Antoin de Saint-Exupery’s novella celebrates 70 years of life this month which, of course, calls for post-memorial day commemoration.

You know what recently occurred to me? That a rose isn’t actually a rose, a fox probably isn’t really a fox either, and I would totally mistake a hungry boa constrictor for a hat under circumstances that did not prompt I use the most overzealous version of my imagination. This is a colossal fail–and do you know why? Because for the past 15 years, I’ve been gallivanting about town telling everyone that The Little Prince was the first book I ever really loved. I should have just said what I probably meant–that those illustrations are bomb-ass. (But also, and this one still applies, where can I get that yellow scarf?)

In light of this month’s most underrated centenary–the 70th birthday of Antoin de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince–I revisited my “favorite children’s book” to finally prove my salt’s worth. And then I thought about it and realized that a bunch of you must maintain a similar relationship with the book (I may be in over my head with this one?), so let’s dip into the archive of magical lessons (in quote formation) taught by The Little Prince and friends. Even if you don’t nest any particular relationship, revisiting this precocious little man is never really a bad idea.

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”

“Eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…”

“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.”

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

“I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.”

“I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings.” -from the Fox

“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems… But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”

“Only the children know what they are looking for,” said the little prince. “They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry…”

“They are lucky,” the switchman said.

“In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don’t dare disobey”

REPLIES
  • ygriega

    I love this book, thank you for posting

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Newborn Fanatic

    I always love to remember the passage with the fox.

    My sister recently bought the pop-up art version of the book which is so much fun. :)

    “My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. 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 . . .”

    https://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • Terry

    love it

  • http://thehannahblog.tumblr.com/ hannah

    I only just recently read this book for the first time, and I really enjoyed it (although my interpretation of it seemed to be much different than what I’ve encountered). One of these days I intend to read it in the original French to see if there was anything lost in translation.

    • Gabrielle

      In my high school French class we were tasked with reading the French version of the book. When the nanosecond of time between reading the words on the page and translating them in your mind passes (or maybe a full second!), the poignant parts seems even more moving than in English. My favourite moment was “Le Petit Prince couche dans l’herbe et il pleut”.

  • Ancia

    Great that you shared this!

  • Selena Aponte

    One of my favorites. It reminds me that children are the most intelligent little creatures…

  • jane

    Le petit prince <3 (by the way, it's Antoine, not Antoin ;-)

    http://www.janesneakpeak.com/

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    Happy birthday,Lil Prince! This book is such a great one, and the quotes you’ve pulled really capture that. There’s something about children’s books that are particularly
    unique in their ability to convey certain points that are often times abstract.
    Perhaps it’s the mentality of needing to convey these thoughts in a way that is
    clear or interesting for a child, but they always seem to result in the best
    metaphors for lessons. It’s like the literary equivalent of serving children
    juice that looks and tastes quite fruity but actually consists of 58% vegetable
    product. That’s why children’s authors have an incredibly heavy duty. They are
    essentially the first external impressions (the first impressions probably
    coming from that of the parents) that can help mold or teach moral lessons and
    the processes of life. I think that we can all continue to learn from not only
    these quotes but the teaching quotes of many of our childhood favorites. It’s a
    way of looking at the world that we mustn’t forget. It’s also a way that shows
    infinite hope, that shows we have time to change the wrongs we’ve made or at
    least to change the way we see something.
    Thanks for letting us look again at this wonderful work.
    – Emma

  • Vik

    Le Petit Prince is my bible — Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: “What does his voice sound like?” “What games does he like best?” “Does he collect butterflies?”. They ask: “How old is he?” “How many brothers does he have?” “How much does he weigh?” “How much money does his father make?” Only then do they think they know him.

  • Anika Zebron

    Love this book! Fantastic quotes you’ve picked out. This is a favorite tale of mine too, thanks for the reminder.

  • belle

    I love the little prince! thanks for posting this!

  • al

    ahh le p’tit prince:))

  • Christina Wonsbeck

    lovely post. the quotes are so true!

  • Mariotte

    And of course:’It is truly useful since it is beautiful.’

  • Nico
  • Paolo The Look Lover

    Great post!! I love this book! Many kisses from Milano, Paolo

  • Liv

    I also use to read it in my french class in highschool, however i cheated and read it in my motherlanguage aswell, so I’d be better at the translation in class, ADORED the book anyways so something did come from those french lessons after all!

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    The best quotes!

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Keerthi

    love it

  • Cynthia Brizuela

    This always reminds me about the spirit I need to have to really appreciate life at its fullest.

    http://www.isayinspireme.blogspot.com/

  • CarlotaLMorais

    Oh i love this book! Is mandatory! Love this post very inspiring

  • FKXOXO

    When books were amazing!

    OASAP GIVEAWAY (Free Clothes)
    http://douxminou.blogspot.mx/2013/05/oasap-giveaway.html

  • Savannah Martin

    This is a beautiful post, Leandra. There is so much wisdom in this book. I didn’t read it until I was an adult, and I think every adult should do the same.

    Thank you for reminding me why I loved it!
    Bisous,
    Savannah
    untetheredasacloud.wordpress.com

  • Andrea

    Looks like I need to add a book to my son’s reading list! Thanks for this post. I’ve never read The Little Prince and now I must!
    http://akstylemyway.blogspot.com/

  • Pilisstyle

    I like the part about love when the roses were telling the prince that among thousand foxes, his fox will be always the only one. Now I don’t know how it is in English since I read it in different language.

  • Natalia Dominguez

    Thank you for taking me on a trip down memory lane. Reminds me of simpler times, this book also has a special place in my heart.

  • Maria

    I have loved this book since I was a small child, and have gathered different versions in different languages ever since! So glad to see that others still remember it :)

  • Danielle

    This is such a treasured book, no matter when you read it –that’s the real allure of it, for me; I’d never even heard of it until I was a teen, but it has shaped my outlook immensely, as if I’d known the story all along.

    I wrote a post on my personal blog about it, inspired by this sweet little homage. I, like you, always wanted that sexy lil scarf of his. Furthermore, we need to find out where to get his jumpsuit!
    http://thesyncreticaesthetic.com/2013/05/31/the-little-prince/

  • Laura

    My favourite is the one in the image above, but I love it the most in french: ‘L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux’. PS: thanks mom for making me read it a thousand times since I was 7.

  • Trending Music Now

    Really a useful resource and very informative…!!
    Trending music now

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/amatoriaclothing Amatoria Clothing

    This was my favorite book as a small child in Switzerland. So good. I always loved his coat.

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