On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur…

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

{Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.}

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Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I won’t pretend that I speak French; I don’t. I do read a bit of French but I’m by no means fluent.

I am, however, as most of you know, a complete and total Francophile. I love all things French and aspire to someday be able to speak the language with more than a little fluency. At least part of this Francophilia comes from my love of the book Le Petit Prince / The Little Prince. I can’t say exactly when I first read it but I’ve read it at least once a year since. I just finished reading it for the umpteenth time again this morning (No. 13).

What a wonderful book. Have you read it too?

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Perhaps technically The Little Prince is a children’s book. However, I, as an adult, get more and more from it with each reading. It is like a very deep cave with treasures buried as far back as the cave extends and you have to gather the treasures as you go, and they become more precious the deeper into the cave you explore. That is how this book is.

And even more than that, it is so wonderfully inspiring. To sit with it, reading, trying to absorb everything that might possibly be there to absorb is overwhelmingly intense. I’ve cried while reading it more than once. I cried for its beauty and for my simple-mindedness in the face of it. I cried at knowing that there was so much more to it that I simply was not grasping or, perhaps, was not able to grasp at that time. It is so simple, so innocent, so beautiful yet so incredibly powerful. And it is so reflective. No matter what is going on in my life at a certain time, it feels like this book is speaking right to that particular situation.

Not many books do that.

So, my invitation today is for any of you who might like to to get a copy of The Little Prince and join me in a virtual book club discussion of it. Even after all of my readings of it, I still have so many questions about it, so many things I’d like another take on, a different perspective on. I’d love to see it through other eyes, see how it might apply to you all, see what else I can gain from it with the help of other minds and vice versa. I’m also very curious to see if others love it as much as I do.

If you are interested in reading and discussing along with me, post a comment here or contact me via the contact form here on my blog. Perhaps we could start discussing it about June 15. That will give those interested a chance to get their copy and read through it once. Don’t worry… it is very short at 112 pages and reads quickly.

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Il faut bien que je supporte deux ou trois chenilles si je veux connaître les papillons.

{It is necessary that I bear two or three caterpillars if I want to know the butterflies.}

If you would prefer to read it online, the entire text looks to be presented here, with the illustrations. This is a neat resource because it also has it available in the original French text.

I also wanted to share my excitement over my purchase yesterday: Le Petit Prince on CD, read by classic French actor Gerard Philipe. It will be quite a treat for me to hear one of my favorite books read in my favorite language in its original text. It will also hopefully increase my French proficiency. I’m quit happy with this purchase and can’t wait until it arrives in the mail.

That’s all today from le monde de Zazazu. Hope to see you in on the book discussion!

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34 thoughts on “On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur…

  1. What a great idea, but I’ll have to pass this time around. 😦

    I haven’t read the book yet, but I will and I’ll let you know in an email what I think.

    I’m so glad that you suggested this. I have been wanting to read it forever.

  2. you know strangely I was thyinking recently about the books I read when I was small and how I very much wanted to re read them, I also thought about having a book club too.

    count me in!!!!!!

    love you, love everything French…

    xoxoxo

  3. Gosh I cannot believe I have not yet read this book. But now I have the perfect reason to! I have just received an early birthday gift of book vouchers so this shall be my next purchase and I will be able to join in!

    Oh and the french CD version sounds delightful. I have decided to begin borrowing book discs from the library to listen to whilst I am painting and working – I should try and get this!

  4. KB –

    What a cool idea! I’m game — I don’t usually do book discussion groups…don’t know why really…but I’ll try it!

    T

  5. I’d love to join in!! I love this book. I even wrote a paper on it back in high school… I wonder if I can dig a copy of that paper out?!

  6. Can you believe that I have never read that book??!! I must read it this summer. Speaking of French. I fell off the blogging trail becasue I have met a wonderful french man. He is not fresh from France, but french enough that he is still utterly romantic. Good things come when you least expect, no?

  7. Mais oui … oh, my french is rusty! I have read the book in French class looong time ago! very sweet. J’adore Franciase? oh… must go back and remember…LOL! Cheers!

  8. LE PETIT PRINCE!!!!!! OMW! I haven’t seen his little cuteness since French class!!! (Which, BTW, I sucked at, but always wanted to try learning the language again as an adult.)

    I am SOOOOOOO in!!!

    *hugging the cute Little Prince who says so many wise things*

    YIPPEE!!!!! This will be SO fun!!

    (BTW, seen any good CSI’s lately? Did you try Criminal Minds yet?)

  9. We read this book in my college (English) class. Your description of how it felt to read it was spot on. The teacher explained it in almost identical terms. I bought it for my oldest son years ago. Since that time I have taken it back to re-read for myself. 🙂

  10. I used to read this book to Boy Wonder when he was just an infant. I don’t speak French, so I’m sure I butchered it a bit, but it was soothing late at night to read the patter of such a beautiful language.

    If I find our copy in storage, I’ll let you know. Oof, the things I must sort out now that it is officially summer!

    Blessings….

  11. I may have to have a look at this online. Now I understand why you like my name, my real name. 🙂
    It’s great to listen to the book in French and read it also. It does help to improve vocabulary and comprehension, I agree.

  12. I don’t know if you are going to see this comment, because your post is from 2007, but I was looking for some information about The Little Prince and I found your blog. I was looking for a book that made me think about somethings. I’m from Brazil, but I’m always studying english and trying to improve my vocabulary, so I decided to read The Little Prince in english and it’s being great. I’m loving it! Thank you for your post!

  13. Moi, je parle français. J’ai étudié la langue française a l’Alliance Française du Guatémala il y a plus de vingt ans. Yes, I speak French, but my native language is Spanish. I got my private pilot license when I was very young, back in 1984. I do not fly anymore, but I love Saint-Exupéry because I was a pilot, like him, and I am a writer too. If you speak a little Spanish I invite you to read what I wrote about him in my blog. You just have to look for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in the tags column and then you will find the article ¿Habría estado Saint-Exupéry entre mis amigos? Mes deux pièces de monnaie, mis dos centavos…
    elideariodeunescribiente.wordpress.com
    Have a nice life!

  14. Moi, je parle français. J’ai étudié cette langue a l’Alliance Française du Guatémala il y a plus de vingt ans. Yes, I speak French, but my native language is Spanish. I love Saint Ex. too because I was a pilot, like him, and I am a writer too. If you speak a little Spanish I invite you to visit my blog eldeariodeunescribiente.wordpress.com and there you will find a post untitled ¿Habría estado Saint-Exupéry entre mis amigos? You just have to click on the tag Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I got my private pilot license in 1984. I do not fly anymore, but Saint-Ex. and Richard Bach were my inspiration when I was young. Mes deux pièces de monnaie. Mis dos centavos. Have a nice life!

  15. You know many people don’t really understand the benefits of operating a blog. As well as the amount of work that goes into setting up a blog page. Truthfully writing a blog could be a lot of fun as well as a smart way to grow your own brand or perhaps company.

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