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Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de

flight

(French, 1900–44)

Saint-Exupéry led a life crammed with more romantic adventure than most fictional heroes. A pioneer aviator in the days when flying depended as much on guts and instinct as on instruments, he was among the first to depict not only the perils of flight but also its ethereal poetry. Night Flight (1932) tells of carrying the mails over the Andes peaks and jungles of Brazil, while Wind, Sand and Stars (1929) deals with his experiences as a courier in remote desert regions. In Flight to Arras (1942), the hero undertakes a near-suicidal mission during the fall of France, May 1940. Exciting action apart, the books are meditations on the nature of courage. Saint-Exupéry also wrote a very popular children's story, The Little Prince (1943), about a crashed pilot's encounter with a boy from another planet. The author himself disappeared on a flight in the final months of the war.

Albert Camus, André Malraux, Elias Canetti  TH

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