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Toutes les grandes personnes ont d'abord été des enfants

I am rediscovering my love for Le petit prince. Unlike a lot of people I know, I didn't read The Little Prince as a kid. I wasn't even aware of it until we read it in my tenth grade French class. I quite enjoyed it, but I hadn't given it much thought in a while.

Est-ce que mon dessin vous a fait peur?/ Pourquoi un chapeau ferait-il peur?

There's now a French spectacle musicale based on the musical. We bought my sister the soundtrack, only to discover that she had a negligent tenth grade French teacher (this is saying a lot, I guess, because my tenth grade French teacher didn't teach us much and used to smoke cigarettes out the window between classes) who didn't do the book at all, and that she has been prejudiced by the atrocious English-language musical based on the book ("The air! Way up there!") into hating everything Little-Prince-related. So I have nicked it until she comes to her senses.

Faites attention aux baobabs!/ Ils envahissent la planète

The music is quite different from and, in my opinion, much better than, the other French spectacles musicales that I've listened to. They are slower, subtler songs than Les rois du monde and the like. En plus, they have important allegorical messages and all that jazz.

Près d'elle/ Je sens un miracle qui s'apprête

Because of the CD, I've started rereading the book. My favorite bits are still those of the renard:

Tu n'est encore pour moi qu'un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n'ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n'as pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu'un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde...
Mais si tu m'apprivoises, ma vie sera comme ensoleillée. Je connaîtrai un bruit de pas qui sera différent de tous les autres. Les autres pas me font rentrer sous terre. Le tien m'appellera hors du terrier, comme une musique. Et puis regarde ! Tu vois, là-bas, les champs de blé ? Je ne mange pas de pain. Le blé pour moi est inutile. Les champs de blé ne me rappellent rien. Et ça, c'est triste ! Mais tu as des cheveux couleur d'or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m'auras apprivoisé ! Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j'aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé.
Ainsi, le petit prince apprivoisa le renard. Et quand l'heure du départ fut proche :
« Ah ! dit le renard... je pleurerai.
- C'est ta faute, dit le petit prince, je ne te souhaitais point de mal, mais tu as voulu que je t'apprivoise...
- Bien sûr, dit le renard.
- Mais tu vas pleurer ! dit le petit prince.
- Bien sûr, dit le renard.
- Alors, tu n'y gagnes rien !
- J'y gagne, dit le renard, à cause de la couleur du blé. »
Voici mon secret. Il est très simple : on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante.

If you haven't yet read the book, I suggest that you do so. It's short, full of illustrations, and marketed as a livre pour les enfants, but it's also full of allegory about human existence and friendship that anyone can enjoy.

srah - Friday, 11 July 2003 - 12:56 PM
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Comments (10)

gravatar katie - July 11, 2003 - 2:15 PM -

We didn't read it in my 10th grade class either. But I read it on my own.

It's sooooo good.

It's SOOOOOO sad!

gravatar alfie - July 11, 2003 - 3:59 PM -

Yes, in my tenth grade French class, instead of reading the book in French, we watched the super-bad film in English. I lost all respect for Richard Kiley during that time.

gravatar Dan Cock - July 11, 2003 - 9:17 PM -

J'ai lu "le petit prince" au lyce. Mais, malheureusement, je l'ai oubli, et je n'ai compris pas le livre a ce temp.

Is that even right? Probably not. I haven't had french since HS, and I'm about to start it up this fall again at my U of M (Minnesota).

Speaking of France, man, the cast of the Real World Paris is annoying. Pretty much all of them except Simon, at least.

Here's to narcissists discovering eachothers blogs.

gravatar srah - July 11, 2003 - 11:44 PM -

If you have IE, you can mouse-over the text for English translation. I should've translated it all in an extended entry, just because it's so long, but it didn't occur to me.

gravatar Dan Cock - July 13, 2003 - 12:40 AM -

Yeah, your page translates itself fine through IE.

I was just unsure of my own French.

gravatar Cheryl - July 14, 2003 - 12:07 PM -

Sarah, if you had cable as a child, you would have known about The Little Prince. There was a cartoon version of it on Nickelodeon, where he wore a purple jumper. And the song went "The Little Prince comes from outer space to catch a shooting star and sail away! Perhaps some day, he'll come your waaaaaayy!" I'll sing it to you sometime.

gravatar haiku richard - July 14, 2003 - 12:35 PM -

Summer on the beach.
looking back where I just walked.
See the little prints.

gravatar katie - July 14, 2003 - 3:28 PM -

I used to watch that cartoon! He would catch shooting stars with his butterfly net, and he would fly around space with the flock of cosmic geese, or something.

Speaking of cartoons and little footprints, does anyone remember The Littles?

gravatar srah - July 14, 2003 - 4:55 PM -

I remember the books...

gravatar Cheryl - July 16, 2003 - 9:45 AM -

I remember The Littles, but I don't think I remember anything about them.

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