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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Antoine de Saint-Exupéry[2†]

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, born on June 29, 1900, in Lyon, France, was a French aviator and writer whose works are the unique testimony of a pilot and a warrior who looked at adventure and danger with a poet’s eyes[1†][2†]. His fable Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) has become a modern classic[1†]. Saint-Exupéry was a successful commercial pilot before World War II, working airmail routes in Europe, Africa, and South America[2†]. He joined the French Air Force at the start of the war, flying reconnaissance missions until France’s armistice with Germany in 1940[2†]. After being demobilised by the French Air Force, he travelled to the United States to help persuade its government to enter the war against Nazi Germany[2†]. He disappeared and is believed to have died while on a reconnaissance mission from the French island of Corsica over the Mediterranean on 31 July 1944[2†].

Early Years and Education:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born on June 29, 1900, in Lyon, France[1†][2†]. He was the third of five children of the Viscountess Marie de Fonscolombe and Viscount Jean de Saint-Exupéry[2†]. His father, an executive of the Le Soleil insurance brokerage, died of a stroke in the train station of La Foux before Saint-Exupéry’s fourth birthday[2†].

Saint-Exupéry came from an impoverished aristocratic family[1†]. He spent his childhood years at the castle of Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, surrounded by sisters, aunts, cousins, and nurses[3†]. He acquired his early education at Jesuit schools in Montgré and Le Mans, and a Catholic boarding school in Switzerland (1915-1917)[3†].

Despite being a poor student, Saint-Exupéry failed the entrance examination to the École Navale twice[2†]. Subsequently, he studied architecture for several months at the École des Beaux-Arts as an auditor, but again without graduating[2†].

In 1921, Saint-Exupéry was conscripted into the French air force, and he qualified as a military pilot a year later[1†]. This marked the beginning of his illustrious career in aviation[1†].

Career Development and Achievements:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s career in aviation began in 1921 when he was conscripted into the French air force[1†][2†]. He qualified as a military pilot a year later[1][2†]. In 1926, he joined the Compagnie Latécoère in Toulouse and helped establish airmail routes over northwest Africa, the South Atlantic, and South America[1†]. His experiences as a pilot provided the material for his novels[3†].

In the 1930s, Saint-Exupéry worked as a test pilot, a publicity attaché for Air France, and a reporter for Paris-Soir[1†]. Despite permanent disabilities resulting from serious flying accidents, he became a military reconnaissance pilot in 1939[1†]. After the fall of France in 1940, he left for the United States[1][2†]. He remained there until 1943, during which he wrote three of his most important works[1†][2†]. He then joined the Free French Air Force in North Africa, even though he was far past the maximum age for such pilots and in declining health[2†].

Saint-Exupéry disappeared and is believed to have died while on a reconnaissance mission from the French island of Corsica over the Mediterranean on 31 July 1944[1†][2†]. Although the wreckage of his plane was discovered off the coast of Marseille in 2000, the ultimate cause of the crash remains unknown[2†].

Saint-Exupéry found in aviation both a source for heroic action and a new literary theme[1†]. His works exalt perilous adventures at the cost of life as the highest realization of man’s vocation[1†]. His first book, Courrier sud (1929; Southern Mail), his new man of the skies, airmail pilot Jacques Bernis, dies in the desert of Rio de Oro[1†]. His second novel, Vol de nuit (1931; Night Flight), was dedicated to the glory of the first airline pilots and their mystical exaltation as they faced death in the rigorous performance of their duty[1†].

First Publication of His Main Works:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s literary career began with the publication of his first novel, “Courrier sud” (Southern Mail) in 1929[1†]. This novel introduced his new man of the skies, airmail pilot Jacques Bernis, who dies in the desert of Rio de Oro[1†].

His second novel, “Vol de nuit” (Night Flight), was published in 1931[1†]. It was dedicated to the glory of the first airline pilots and their mystical exaltation as they faced death in the rigorous performance of their duty[1†].

In the 1940s, while in the United States, he wrote three of his most important works[2†]. These include his most famous work, “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince), which has become a modern classic[1†][2†].

Here is a list of some of his main works:

Each of these works reflects Saint-Exupéry’s experiences as a pilot and his philosophical reflections on life and death[1†][2†].

Analysis and Evaluation:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s works, particularly “The Little Prince”, have been critically acclaimed for their philosophical and poetic nature[4†]. His writings, which capture magnificent scenes and landscapes, turned him into a hero during his lifetime[4†]. His multifaceted personality has been portrayed in his own books and in those of countless other authors[4†].

“The Little Prince” is a modern classic that tells the story of a child, the little prince, who travels the universe gaining wisdom[9†]. The language is simple and symbolic, charged with extraordinary emotional intensity through poetic riddles and thought-provoking metaphors[4†]. The tone is factual and devoid of beauty as the author sketches the narrow world of “grown-ups,” who are obsessed with self-importance, power, and money[4†].

Saint-Exupéry’s purpose in this work is to teach “matters of consequence,” those things that are crucial but often go unnoticed because the physical eyes are blind to them, preventing complete understanding of the meanings behind things[4†]. The book is overflowing with symbols, and full understanding of the author’s meaning requires careful reading and pondering[4†].

Many scholars have published discussions of the specific meanings of the symbols and metaphors that appear in the work (especially baobabs and roses), which are open to various interpretations[4†]. The messages in “The Little Prince” are still being studied; both children and adults continue to decode Saint-Exupéry’s thoughts and follow his dreams[4†].

Personal Life:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born into an aristocratic family and was the third of five children[2†][5†]. His father, Jean de Saint-Exupéry, passed away when Antoine was just four years old[2†][5†]. He grew up in a predominantly female environment, surrounded by his sisters, aunts, cousins, and nurses[2†][5†].

In 1931, Saint-Exupéry married Consuelo Suncín, a Salvadoran writer and artist[2†][1†]. Their marriage was often strained due to Saint-Exupéry’s frequent absences and alleged affairs[2†][6†]. Despite these challenges, their relationship was a significant influence on his writing[2†][6†].

Saint-Exupéry was deeply affected by the death of his younger brother, François, who died at the age of 15 from rheumatic fever[7†]. This personal tragedy was later reflected in the ending of his most famous work, "The Little Prince"[7†].

Conclusion and Legacy:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French aviator and writer, looked at adventure and danger with a poet’s eyes[1†]. His works, particularly “The Little Prince”, are a unique testimony of a pilot and a warrior[1†]. His fable “The Little Prince” has become a modern classic[1†][8†].

Saint-Exupéry found in aviation both a source for heroic action and a new literary theme[1†]. His works exalt perilous adventures at the cost of life as the highest realization of man’s vocation[1†]. His writings, which capture magnificent scenes and landscapes, turned him into a hero during his lifetime[1†][8†].

His disappearance during World War II added a layer of mystery to his legacy[1†][10†]. He left our world silently, without any explanation[1†][10†]. He literally vanished without a trace[1†][10†]. This personal tragedy was later reflected in the ending of his most famous work, "The Little Prince"[10†].

The story ends with the Little Prince disappearing, and the narrator left alone in the desert[11†]. The novel ends on an ambiguous note, inviting readers to believe that the Little Prince’s journey continues in the stars[11†].

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s legacy continues to inspire and influence people around the world[12†]. His works, particularly “The Little Prince”, have been translated into numerous languages and continue to be read and loved by people of all ages[1†][8†].

Key Information:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French aviator and writer whose works are the unique testimony of a pilot and a warrior who looked at adventure and danger with a poet’s eyes[1†]. His fable “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince) has become a modern classic[1†]. Despite a failure at the Naval Academy, he had succeeded in aviation during his military service in 1921[13†]. He was also a man of science, with a dozen patented inventions[13†].

References and Citations:

  1. Britannica - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  2. Wikipedia (English) - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  3. Famous Authors - Antoine De Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  4. eNotes -Critical Evaluation - The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery [website] - link

  5. Biografías y Vidas - Biografia de Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  6. Infobae - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: la historia de amor que inspiró a ‘La Rosa’ de “El Principito” [website] - link

  7. Hipertextual -20 curiosidades sobre la vida y obra de Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  8. Wikipedia (Spanish) - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  9. Britannica - The Little Prince fable by Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  10. Writology - Book Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery [website] - link

  11. Enlightio - The Little Prince – The Heart of a Child, The Journey of a Prince [website] - link

  12. fahrenheit Magazine - The true legacy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [website] - link

  13. Graines de Paix - SAINT EXUPÉRY Antoine de [website] - link

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