For those who missed the special issue of Lire magazine marking the 60th anniversary of the Little Prince, we offer a drawing by one of the most famous names in the world of French comic strip illustrations: none other than Uderzo, one of the two creators of Astérix the Gaul. In 2009, the famous warrior fuelled by magic potion celebrated his 50th anniversary.
In the drawing, the Little Prince has apparently asked Uderzo to draw him a sheep, but Uderzo seems to have gone over the top. The Little Prince’s planet is covered not in baobabs but in sheep, happily grazing the surface of asteroid B612.
This is a year of celebration for Russia, marking fifty years since the Little Prince was translated into Russian. The Little Prince is represented in Russia by the voluntary association The Little Prince’s Stars, headed by Igor Shamraev. To mark the fiftieth anniversary, an audio recording of the book has been made in partnership with the association Podari Zhizn (Give Life). Famous artists such as Tchulpan Khamatova, Konstantin Khabensky, Mikhail Efremov and Mikhail Efremov lend their voices to the tale.
All proceeds from the sale of the recording will go to Podari Zhizn, which is raising funds for a cytogenetic (cell analysis) laboratory for Russia’s National Paediatric Hospital. The laboratory will be officially named after the Little Prince in spring 2010.
On 17 December Olivier d’Agay, director of the Succession Saint-Exupéry estate, and actress Dina Korzoune, co-founder of Podari Zhizn, paid a visit to a group of sick children to present them with the first copies of the recording.
On 16 November 2009, we told you about Bruno d’Agay’s journey around South America in search of documents and first-hand accounts of the exploits of Saint-Exupéry and l’Aéropostale. Well, Bruno arrived safely and is now in Argentina – in Concordia, to be precise. In the chapter entitled Oasis in his book Wind, Sand and Stars, Saint-Exupéry writes of a heavy landing in which one of the wheels on his landing gear was damaged.
As he was attempting to repair his aircraft, he met the Fuchs family. While he was waiting for the repairs to be completed, he accepted an invitation to be their guest at the family castle of San Carlos in Entre Rios province. It proved to be a vast, somewhat dilapidated building but the furniture was always impeccably cleaned and polished, an aspect that delighted Saint-Exupéry the moment he stepped into the castle.
Saint-Exupéry found his hosts to be rather unusual, too: the Fuchs family tamed wild animals! They had an iguana, a monkey, a mongoose and even… a fox – all tame. During his stay at the castle, the author was impressed by the two young daughters of the house, who led very different lives from those of most little girls in the 1930s. With serious faces, the two children watched him to gauge his reaction as they announced that there were vipers living under the dining room floor.
“I, in my turn, watched these young girls without seeming to. Their refinement, their silent laughter behind the untroubled faces. And I admired that sense of royalty they gave off.”
Ileana Surducan is an artist from the town of Cluj-Napoca in Romania, studying Ceramics at Art School. Ileana has a great love of drawing, and has set up a blog on which she regularly posts some of her illustrations. We love the way she handles colours, her original characters (including her own graphic avatar) and the warmth of her drawings that lure the eye to linger over every detail.
Ileana entered her representation of the Little Prince for a competition launched on the Internet. We were impressed by her technique, with the snake blending into the scarf, and the sense of loneliness given off by the illustration. In its mingling of grey, black and white, it is also an intensely poetic rendering.
The Rencontres Internationales Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a three-day invitation-only event for those with a special interest in the message of Saint-Exupéry, was made up of debates, lectures and exchanges of views, interspersed with artistic presentations. After the excerpt by Nikolaus Schapfl, our next offering is a reading from Terre des Hommes (« Wind, Sand and Stars« ). Actress Marie-Christine Barrault reads the passage in which Saint-Exupéry, then a reporter for daily newspaper Paris Soir is sent on an assignment to Moscow.
He recounts his journey by train and gives a description of his fellow-passengers, Polish workers expelled from France. In this extract, Saint-Exupéry’s attention lingers on a couple as he contemplates the beauty of their sleeping child: « I studied that smooth forehead, that gentle pout of the lips, and I said to myself here is the face of a musician, a Mozart as a child; here is a fine promise of life.«
Last June, the author of La mémoire du Petit Prince was invited to the Rencontres internationales Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a three-day invitation-only event for those with a special interest in Saint-Exupéry’s message. While still hard at work on his book, Jean-Pierre Guéno accepted the invitation to speak about the modernity of Saint-Exupéry’s thought, and how it is possible to discern in his message an interest in what we now call sustainable development. Or rather, perhaps, his worries over the many forms of waste in our society, which he saw as « a great termite mound ».
With no more ado, we invite you to watch and hear Jean-Pierre Guéno talking about Saint-Exupéry, a writer with a voice as compelling as that of the Little Prince addressing the aviator lost in the desert.
Still running at the Théâtre de la Pépinière, The Little Prince adapted for the stage by Virgil Tanase is just the kind of performance that grown-ups should take children to (and vice versa) over the holiday season. In his adaptation of the story, Virgil Tanase invites us all to join in a game. Actors Pierre Azema and David Legras take on the roles of the aviator and the various grown-ups the Little Prince encounters on his travels.
Just like Saint-Exupéry’s tale, this adaptation makes children laugh and inspires them to dream. Grown-ups will find it rather moving, too.
Performances: Saturdays at 14:00 and Sundays at 15:00 and 17:00. Informations and tickets : Théatre la Pépinière.
A book has to be one of the best presents ever. The Little Prince in pop-up version takes you right inside the story of the Little Prince and his odyssey, making it come to life and giving it greater depth (the planet overrun by baobabs literally jumps out of the book and seeing the fox physically approaching the Little Prince is truly moving). Adults though we may be (with the heart of a child), we often want to share the treasures to be found in each chapter of the story.
This pop-up book version is our chance to tell the tale we first heard as a child, and to share it in a new way with our own little princes and princesses.
As the world climate summit in Copenhagen continues, today we want to talk to you about what is, sadly, still a little-known subject: the araucaria trees of southern Brazil (Paraná).
The araucaria tree, or Brazilian pine, is now critically endangered as a result of uncontrolled deforestation and illegal logging, despite being a protected species. In Brazil, a sizeable number of industrial groups and even local elected representatives choose to be « unaware » of the law and continue to cut down the araucarias. Criminal organisations are apparently directly involved in the deforestation process.
José Álvaro Carneiro is superintendent of IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental and natural resources institute, and is well known throughout the country for his battle against the illegal felling of the araucarias. His techniques include tracking down the rogue loggers with the help of the authorities and turning these ancestral forests into protected reserves under helicopter surveillance.
José Álvaro Carneiro is already a friend of the Little Prince: he happens to be married to Ety Cristina Forte Carneiro, one of the staunchest pillars of the Pequeno Principe Hospital in Brazil.
The Little Prince will shortly be taking part in information campaigns about the araucaria and the risks of its extinction.