Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de St. Exupery

I have read The Little Prince. I have read Night Flight. But this book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery unites them under the larger umbrella of flight. Of what it was, exactly, to be a pilot in the 1930s. I can scarcely imagine how a pilot can also be so skilled a writer. After two evenings, I am only on page 38 because I must stop and contemplate all the things he has to say.
On courage:
“You’ll be bothered from time to time by storms, fog, snow. When you are, think of those who went through it before you, and say to yourself, ‘What they could do, I can do.’ “
On money:
“True riches cannot be bought. One cannot buy the friendship of a Mermoz, of a companion to whom one is bound forever by ordeals suffered in common. There is no buying the night flight with its hundred thousand stars, its serenity, its few hours of sovereignty. It is not money that can procure for us that new vision of the world won through hardship…”
On loneliness:
“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.”
On fear:
“He knows that once men are caught up in an event they cease to be afraid. Only the unknown frightens men. But once a man has faced the unknown, that terror becomes the known.”
It is quite interesting to read this book on the heels of The Sorrow of Angels. Imagine two mail carriers, one from Iceland and the other from France, who face the elements with indomitable courage. I couldn’t have planned a better pairing of novels if I’d tried.
More on this one, Wind, Sand and Stars, when I finish. Thanks to Therapy Through Tolstoy for the inspiration to pick it up.
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13 thoughts on “Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de St. Exupery”

  1. This sounds like a wonderful, inspiring book. I'll definitely keep it in mind. Before reading your post, I'd only known one book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and you know which one. 😉

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  2. Of course, it can be read quickly. But, I feel I would miss so much! Plus, the writing is quite beautiful. I wish I could still read French as when I read Le Petit Prince.

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  3. I think that this should almost be a prerequisite to The Little Prince. So much about flight, about courage, about friendship is initially laid out here. They are wonderful
    books to read in tandem.

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  4. I can see why it's a classic, why Saint-Exupery's face graced the twenty franc bill before the conversion to euros, and why he's such a beloved author. I don't think I like this more than The Little Prince, but certainly as much.

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  5. Wind, Sand and Stars was my first taste of Antoine de Saint-Exupery and I loved it so much (glad I read it first because I was definitely not a fan of The Little Prince). I have a biography of him, somewhere. Glad you're enjoying one of my old favorites!

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