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Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de…

Wind, Sand and Stars (1939)

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Airman's Odyssey (2)

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English (37)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
The older I get the more I like the touch, feel and look of old books. A particular favourite type is the Gallimard paperback from the post war period. In an Oxfam bookshop I found a copy of Saint-Exupery’s Terre des Hommes with page browning and signs of sellotape on the front cover. It is from the ‘trois cent vingtieme edition’ printed in 1949, ten years after the first edition. It is so fragile that it crumbles at a turn of the page. I like the way French publishers draw attention to the various limited editions on special paper, for instance ‘L’edition originale de cet ouvrage a ete tiree a cent soixante-trois exemplaires’ before describing a breakdown of these volumes by ‘papier Whatman’, ‘velin de Hollande’ and 30 copies ‘sur velin pur fil des papeteries Lafuma Navarre’. My copy has no claim to fame in itself. The content is marvellous of course and starts with a statement that rings true however it may be applied.
‘La terre nous apprend plus long sur nous que tous les livres. Parce qu’elle nous resiste. L’homme se découvre quand il se mesure avec l’obstacle. Mais, pour l’atteindre, il lui faut un outil’ (page 9).

I encountered this challenge when my tool, my car, struck an object that burst a tire, leaving me stranded in gathering darkness miles from home. As I awaited help dusk turned to darkness and the natural environment made its presence felt through the sounds of animals, a barking fox, the bellow of cows and the soulful cry of the tawny owl. Trees, hedges and fields took on different shapes and characteristics. Long periods of silence took over and emphasised my isolation and helplessness in a rural landscape. Four lines into Terre des Homme, I am hooked. ( )
  jon1lambert | Aug 22, 2018 |
In Wind, Sand and Stars, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry describes the early years of regular powered flight as he worked with the Aéropostale (later Air France) delivering the mail. He talks of the almost-mystical manner in which pilots related to the world from their lofty perch and how they had to view the land beneath them both to find their way and to successfully land in case of emergency. He writes, “Flying is a man’s job and its worries are a man’s worries. A pilot’s business is with the wind, with the stars, with night, with sand, with the sea. He strives to outwit the forces of nature. He stares in expectancy for the coming of dawn the way a gardener awaits the coming of spring. He looks forward to port as to a promised land, and truth for him is what lives in the stars” (pg. 147). Beyond the short vignettes about the lives of pilots and the handling of aircraft, Saint-Exupéry spends a great deal of time discussing his experiences in what is now Algeria and Morocco, his crash in the Sahara Desert, and his experiences at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Discussing his crash in the Sahara, Saint-Exupéry discussing following the trail of a fennec fox while he was hallucinating due to dehydration. This experience likely served as the inspiration for his later novella, Le Petit Prince (pg. 136). Further, he infuses his reminiscences with a humanist/poetic outlook, much like the musings of the fox in Le Petit Prince. Saint-Exupéry writes, “Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something moulded. These prison walls that this age of trade has built up round us, we can break down. We can still run free, call to our comrades, and marvel to hear once more, in response to our call, the pathetic chant of the human voice” (pg. 26). He continues, “When we exchange manly handshakes, compete in races, join together to save one of us who is in trouble, cry aloud for help in the hour of danger – only then do we learn that we are not alone on earth” (pg. 28). These introspective passages contribute to the generally romantic view of early pilots during the interwar years. This book, with lovely illustrations from Linda Kitson, will appeal to anyone interested in the history of aviation. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jul 14, 2018 |
In this autobiographical work Saint-Exupéry, an early pioneering aviator, evokes a series of events in his life, principally his work for the airmail carrier Aéropostale. He does so by recounting several episodes from his years flying treacherous mail routes across the African Sahara and the South American Andes. The book's themes deal with friendship, death, heroism, camaraderie and solidarity among colleagues, humanity and the search for meaning in life. The book illustrates the author's view of the world and his opinions of what makes life worth living.
The central incident he wrote of detailed his 1935 plane crash in the Sahara Desert between Benghazi and Cairo, which he barely survived along with his mechanic-navigator, André Prévot. Saint-Exupéry and his navigator were left almost completely without water and food, and as the chances of finding an oasis or help from the air gradually decreased, the two men nearly died of thirst before they were saved by a Bedouin on a camel. ( )
  MasseyLibrary | Mar 6, 2018 |
There are many adventure stories in the world. Then, one runs across a narrative that reduces the lines of syntax in all other tales of adventure to the level of a boy ensuring that his stuffed animals are arranged comfortably before running off to play. This is such a book. And it is not merely a work of fiction, spun to entertain. It is a memoir. Saint-Exupery, while giving expression to the inexpressibility of his experiences, proceeds to express them anyway, with an unparalleled ability to evoke a picture in the mind of the reader. ( )
  Coffeehag | Jan 29, 2018 |
Un libro straordinario sulla straordinaria ricerca di s stessi,della propria verità. Verità che non può essere conosciuta né giudicata dalla logica: Per cercare di far venir fuori questo essenziale,bisogna dimenticare per un istante le divisioni,che,se si ammettono,si trascinano dietro tutto un Corano di verità incrollabili,col fanatismo che ne deriva.Si scopre l'importanza non dell'istruzione,ma della coltivazione. E' importante coltivare,non trasmettere una conoscenza asettica. Coltivare vuol dire conoscere l'altro,creare una relazione.Certo le vocazioni aiutano l'uomo a sprigionarsi, ma è ugualmente necessario far sprigionare le vocazioni.Semplice e diretto,perché narra la vita stessa di chi ha cercato o di coloro che ha visto cercare.Si sviluppa in un crescendo di coinvolgimento e di comprensione,fino ad arrivare all'ultimo capitolo,gustando la gioia,la pienezza,di quando si raggiunge la vetta di un monte.La felicità sta nel voler diventare gazzelle e danzare la propria danza.L'ergastolo sta dove vengono dati colpi di piccone che non hanno alcun senso,che non ricollegano colui che li dà alla comunità degli uomini. E noi vogliamo evadere dall'ergastolo. ( )
  AlessandraEtFabio | Dec 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Saint Exupéry pilotava aviões nos tempos heróicos da aviação comercial - tempo em que os aviões voavam a mil, dois mil metros e, nos dias de céu limpo, podia-se admirar a paisagem lá em baixo. Foi ele um dos primeiros pilotos da Air France a estabelecer a rota do correio aéreo para a África e a América Latina, enfrentando, com instrumentos rudimentares, as travessias do oceano, Sahara, Patagônia e Cordilheira dos Andes.

Pilotando os pequenos aviões na quietude de noites estreladas ou sobrevoando durante horas de um dia interminável a imensidão de desertos e de planícies despovoadas, Saint Exupéry perscrutava agudamente a alma humana. Surge dessa reflexão uma proposta humanista muito peculiar, que entusiasmou muita gente nos anos que se seguiram à Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Panes eram comuns nos tempos heróicos da aviação comercial e nem sempre tinham conseqüências fatais. Os aviões eram menores, menos velozes e planavam com facilidade. Porém, escapando da morte na queda do avião, pilotos e mecânicos tinham de lutar pela vida na caminhada em busca de socorro. Terra dos Homens narra vários desses episódios nos quais foram os valores morais que levaram esses homens a fazer enormes sacrifícios e a encontrar insuspeitadas reservas de energia para vencer desertos, neves eternas, hostilidades de beduinos sublevados.

Não se trata, porém, de livro de aventuras ou de explorações. Terra dos Homens é, na verdade, uma amorosa meditação sobre o senso de responsabilidade; o valor do coleguismo, o prazer de uma conversa solta numa roda alegre após um dia duro de trabalho; a emoção de ver o sol se pôr na imensidão do mar, a alegria do aceno da menina aos pilotos que, na rota para o Chile, sobrevoavam um rincão perdido da Patagônia - episódios de um poema em prosa que celebra a natureza, o sentido da vida, a dignidade do trabalhador.

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saint-Exupéry, Antoine deprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brouwer, JohannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosgrave, John O'HaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galantière, LewisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rees, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to Henr Guillaumet, my comrade.
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La terre nous en apprend plus long sur nous que tous les livres. Parce qu'elle nous résiste.
In 1926 I was enrolled as student airline pilot by the Latecoere Company, the predecessors of Aeropostale (now Air France) in the operation of the line between Toulouse, in southwestern France, and Dakar, in French West Africa.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156027496, Paperback)

Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. Translated by Lewis Galantière.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The experiences and philosophy of a French airline pilot whose flying career began in 1926 and ended when his plane disappeared in 1944.

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