I don’t care where you live or where you grew up, if you have not read the Little Prince, here is a big push, READ IT! The first time I read this story in Russian, I was still pretty young and was slightly confused but pulled into these strange characters illuminated by the authors poetic style of writing. As I have gotten older and have read different versions & publications, my love has only grown for the characters and the different emotions that the story brings out.
Which made me extremely excited to find out there is an exhibit regarding the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery and the path of creating the story of The Little Prince. It is being held at the Morgan Library in NYC, and I was finally able to go over this weekend. I have read the book at least 20 times and was still surprised through out my visit. There was over 30 pages of scrap writing and drawings and even originals for the 1st manuscript. Saint-Exupery wrote the original in french, but it was actually written while he was residing in NYC, right before he joined the war efforts and disappeared. The exhibit points out how difficult it was for Saint-Exupery to portray the different characters that the Little Prince encounters on his travels to the different planets, especially ones such as the drinker. What I found the most surprising, puzzling and pretty astonishing was that there is a passage about the Little Prince watching the sunset on his own planet 44 times in one day, and coincidentally Saint Exupery disappeared at the age of 44 in 1944 during the war. Did he have a feeling that his life would be ended short the coming year, and he wanted to somehow pay tribute to his life in his final book? It left me with a slightly creepy feeling.
I visited the Morgan Library specifically for the Little Prince exhibit, but the entrance fee lets you browse the rest of the museum as well. Not only was the exhibit more then I could have expected, but the library itself was a great experience to browse through. I think anyone who enjoys reading a book cozied up on the couch or near a fireplace will love the expansive collection of books and the beautiful furnishing through all the library rooms (click to explore).
The Little Prince exhibit will be open through April 27th, I would highly recommend visiting. If you have not read any version of the Little Prince, it is a must, and there are many options, my favorite translation is by Katherine Wood, but if you want a version that is fun for kids there is a pop up book that I also have and love.
Did you do see or visit any thing new this weekend? Have you been to visit this exhibit, what do you think? Any other fun museum exhibits I should visit?