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Sahara Desert

Novel The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)
"Please... draw me a sheep!" asks the Little Prince to the aviator. Thus begins the tale written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry whose plot begins in the Sahara desert, where we meet a rose, a fox, planets and eccentric characters. A philosophical story for young and old.
Western Sahara
Western Sahara - AlbertoDV, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

“- Yes,” I said to the little prince. “The house, the stars, the desert–what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible!

– I am glad,” he said, “that you agree with my fox.”

The narrator and the little prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry knew the Sahara desert well, having flown over it many times with the planes of the Aéropostale. In 1926, he was hired by the Latécoère company to transport mail between Toulouse, Saint-Louis in Senegal and Morocco.

The following year and for two years, he directed the airfield of Cape Juby, today Tarfaya in the Cherifian kingdom. In addition to taking care of gasoline supplies, he also acted as a diplomat to smooth out relations with the Spaniards and the Moorish tribes. He is highly regarded for his efforts to teach Arabic and for the first flights he gives to local children.

From his very isolated life in the Casa del Mare, he drew inspiration for his successful novels Courrier sud, Terre des hommes and Le Petit Prince. As he points out, “I have always loved the desert, you sit on a sand dune, you see nothing, you hear nothing, and yet something radiates in silence.”

This silence that the narrator-aviator of his children’s tale sees disturbed by the arrival of the Little Prince asking him to draw him a sheep. After several unsuccessful attempts, the boy begins to tell him about his life on the asteroid B 612. He spends his time pulling up invasive baobabs and sweeping volcanoes.

After the discovery of a demanding but so fragile rose, he leaves to seek friendship on singular planets where he meets eccentric characters such as the lamplighter, the monarch, the geographer or the businessman. Back on Earth, he crosses paths with a snake and a fox teaching him life maxims such as “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

Today, the Sahara desert and Tarfaya are still imbued with the soul of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Casa del Mare is transformed into a museum of the airmail, also telling the life of the writer.

457

The Little Prince istranslated into 457 languages and dialects. It is the second most translated book in the world after the Bible.

Sahara Desert

With its 9,065,000 km2, this immense desert extends over eleven countries in northern Africa.

The Sahara Desert covers nearly 30% of the surface of the African continent. In the Arabic language, Sahara means “vast area devoid of vegetation”. With a maximum temperature of 55°C and very arid regions where it rains less than 55 mm of water per year, it is the largest hot desert in the world. Its subsoil made of hydrocarbons and phosphate and iron ores has aroused covetousness, notably from the British and French empires since the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it is possible to spend a few nights accompanied by guides in some corners of the Sahara.

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By Damien Canteau

Monday, May 23, 2022

Passionné par l'Histoire, les animés, les Arts et la bande dessinée en particulier, Damien est le rédacteur en chef du site spécialisé dans le 9e art, Comixtrip.

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