Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top Shelf, Selection Six--Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)

I love words. I love putting them together in what I hope are pleasing ways. I love searching for the perfect, sometimes unusual, word or phrase to describe a thing. But here I find myself stumped. It's nearly impossible to describe The Little Prince. Yes, it's the story of a little prince from another planet, an asteroid to be exact. And yes, he needs a sheep to guard his most precious possession. But to summarize it that way makes it sound strange. If I say, though, that my copy of this book is nearly as underlined and as marked up as my scriptures, I risk labeling it as preachy, which it's not.

So here, in a rush, are a few words I associate with The Little Prince. It's funny and sweet and sad and tender and terrible, all at once. To fully appreciate it you have to ignore the impossibility of the story and read it as the Little Prince himself would--with your heart.

I've only read this book in French, so I can't vouch for the English translation, but one is available. If you find it lacking, though, learn French--if only for the pleasure of reading Le Petit Prince.

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