A Princely Read

You know about that saying-Don’t judge something by its size? Well, it’s true of books as well.  Take, ‘The Little Prince’ for example. Anyone can be fooled easily into thinking that it is a mere children’s story by its small size (and even its title for that matter). But no other book can have so many profound yet seemingly simple truths packed into its story. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not philosophical neither does it pretend to be so in the guise of a children’s tale. ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine De Saint Exupery is a simple tale of two children and their own ways of looking at the world. And within these different views of the world lie the most obvious truths which often are not visible to grown-ups. (Find out some history about the book if you can).

The Little Prince’ is narrated by an unnamed child who has apparently crashed into the Sahara Desert. There he meets the little prince and they converse with each other about each other’s planets and other things which reveal their thoughts and beliefs as well-like that the narrator likes to draw but was discouraged by grown-ups who never understood them, that the little prince liked to see sunsets and never let go of a question once he asked them or that he came from a very tiny planet etc.  During these conversations, the narrator tries to fix his crashed air plane so that he can go back home. He narrates this story six years after this particular crash occurred.

Every page, every chapter will have some sort of wisdom embedded in it which somehow slips us grown-ups by. Most of these wisdoms are told simply and directly which is why they are so memorable. Quoting all of them is nigh impossible. So I will let you explore them on your own.

A unique aspect about ‘The Little Prince’ is that it is simple, direct and curt. The writing and the conversations imitate the simple, to the point behaviour of children. This directness is precisely why it’s refreshing and why it is easy to make one’s point and make the reader understand it well. It hits the reader directly as a result and that’s why these simple statements are so enlightening. There is no unnecessary beating around the bush.

I read a translation by Irene Testot-Ferry which I got from Flipkart for quite a good bargain  The translation seemed good. Since I have nothing to compare it to, I can’t be a good judge of it. Do share if you have read a brilliant translation of ‘The Little Prince‘ or if you have read it originally in French

This book is a treasure which you can open just about at any page and then read it to elicit a new way of understanding and perhaps to lighten up your bad mood. It makes you look at things in an uncomplicated manner.  You as a reader can find several layers of meaning lying hidden beneath the seemingly childish talks of the child protagonists of ‘The Little Prince.’ From them, I sincerely hope that you can take away something that can be useful in your life because this is one book that you cannot fail to learn something from-however simple or obvious it might be.

The Little Prince’ is a story one in a million which can carve a special place in your heart, a story all should read and learn from.

7 thoughts on “A Princely Read

  1. I was introduced to this book in a rather unique way. A friend read out the book in the original French to me. I didn’t know French (and I still don’t) but this friend insisted that I at least hear the original before reading the English translation !

    I have read this book so many times and still find a new meaning, a new perspective emerging each time I read it. It’s a lovely book and your review matches it. 🙂

    • Oh wow! I wish I knew French to read this book in the original language. If I may ask, did you understand anything when the friend read the original ‘Le Petit Prince’?
      I am glad you feel the same way about the book. It really is a simple book but yet so profound in its own way. It teaches us so much yet isn’t philosophical. I really enjoyed reading this book.

      • No, I didn’t understand. But my friend who passionately loves this book brought it out in her reading and somehow, I think I got the gist and the innocence that this book conveys. And her book is a classic one with stunning black and white illustrations, that is far, far better than the coloured illustrations of my copy.

      • That is wonderful. Maybe I could try and read it too. I know some rudimentary french. Your friend is really lucky to own a good classic copy.

  2. Pingback: A Fabled Tale | The Book Cafe!

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