Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de (Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupéry) äNtwänˈ-märēˈ-rôzhāˈ də săNtĕgzüpārēˈ [key], 1900–1944, French aviator and writer. He became a commercial pilot and published his first story in 1926. Mainly involved in the nascent air-mail industry, he flew in Europe, Africa, and South America. During World War II he was a military pilot and was lost in action. His writings reflect his feeling for the open skies and desert and embody his love of freedom of action. Courrier Sud (1929, tr. Southern Mail, 1933), Vol de nuit (1931, tr. Night Flight, 1932), and Terre des hommes (1939, tr. Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939) are impressionistic, poetic narratives expressing a highly personal philosophy that stresses individual responsibility and the life of the mind. Pilote de guerre (1942, tr. Flight to Arras, 1942) tells of a hopeless French reconnaissance flight in 1940. His last book, the fable Le Petit Prince (1943, tr. The Little Prince, 1943), has become a classic, read by adults and children.

See biographies by C. Cate (1970), J. M. Robinson (1984), and S. Schiff (1995).

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