The Little Prince
- First Edition
- gelatine plate paper
- The Little Prince
- Number of Pages: 96
- English (Unknown)
- English (Original Language)
- English (Published)
Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by young children and adults alike as The Little Prince. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-Exupé ry's original artwork. Richard Howard's new translation inside the beloved classic-published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupé ry's birth-beautifully reflects Saint-Exupé ry's unique and gifted style. By combining the new translation with restored original art, Harcourt is proud to introduce the definitive English-language edition of Howard, an acclaimed poet and 1 specific of quite a few preeminent translators of our time, has excelled in bringing the English text as close as achievable to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit.
Antoine de Saint-Exupé ry initial published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished more than the Mediterranean for the duration of a reconnaissance mission."And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions."Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper at the same time as a pen out of my pocket."In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey,"the narrator recalls. His efforts are interrupted one particular day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. The narrator is a downed pilot inside the Sahara Desert, frantically wanting to repair his wrecked plane. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its energy.
The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. And despite his tone of gentle bemusement, Saint-Exupé ry pulls off some fine satiric touches, too. There's the king, for example, who commands the Little Prince to function as a one-man (or one-boy) judiciary: It's a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not just the great fairy tales but also such monuments of postmodern whimsy as Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.
I have great reason to assume that there is an old rat living somewhere on my planet. That way his life will rely on your justice. The result is really a new and improved version of an indestructible classic, which also restores the original artwork to complete color."Trying to grow to be witty,"we're told at one point,"leads to lying, more or significantly less. Happily, Richard Howard (who did a fine nip-and-tuck job on Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma in 1999) has streamlined and simplified to wonderful effect. There's only one particular rat. Such delicacy of tone can present real headaches for a translator, and in her 1943 translation, Katherine Woods at times wandered off the mark, giving the text a slightly wooden or didactic accent. The author pokes similar fun at a businessman, a geographer, as well as a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. From time to time you will condemn him to death."But Saint-Exupé ry's drawings offer you a handy rebuttal: they're fresh, funny, and like the book itself, rigorously truthful. I hear him at night. But you'll pardon him each time for economy's sake. --James Marcus Yet his tale is ultimately a tender one--a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude, which never turns into Peter Pan-style treacle. You could judge that old rat.
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