The book is written in the first person. Exupery dedicated it to one of his fellow pilots – Henri Guillaume.
A person reveals himself in the fight against obstacles. The pilot is like a peasant who cultivates the earth and thereby extorts from nature some of its secrets. The pilot’s work is also fruitful. The first flight over Argentina was unforgettable: lights flickered below, and each of them spoke about the miracle of human consciousness – about dreams, hopes, love.
Exupery began to work on the Toulouse-Dakar line in 1926. Experienced pilots were somewhat alienated, but in their jerky tales a fabulous world of mountain ranges arose with traps, dips and whirls. The “old men” skillfully supported the worship, which only increased when one of them did not return from the flight. And then came the turn of Exupery: at night he went to the airfield in an old bus and, like many of his comrades, felt the birth of a ruler in him – a man responsible for Spanish and African mail. The officials sitting nearby said about illnesses, money, small household chores – these people voluntarily entered the prison of philistine prosperity, and the musician, poet or astronomer would never wake up in their hardened souls. Another thing the pilot, who will enter into a dispute with a thunderstorm,
Out of his comrades, Exupery singles out first of all Mermoz, one of the founders of the French airline Casablanca – Dakar and the
No one can replace the dead. And the greatest happiness is experienced by pilots, when suddenly someone who has already mentally buried is suddenly resurrected. This happened with Guillaume, who disappeared during a voyage over the Andes. For five days the comrades unsuccessfully searched for him, and there was no longer any doubt that he had perished, either in the fall or in the cold. But Guillaume created a miracle of his own salvation, passing through the snow and ice. He said later that he had borne something that no animal could have tolerated – there is nothing more noble than these words that show the measure of the greatness of man, determining his true place in nature.
The pilot thinks in terms of the scale of the universe and re-reads the story in a new way. Civilization is just a fragile gilding. People forget that under their feet there is no deep layer of earth. An insignificant pond surrounded by houses and trees is prone to tidal action. Under a thin layer of grass and flowers, amazing transformations take place – only thanks to the aircraft they can sometimes be discerned. Another magic property of the aircraft is that it transfers the pilot to the heart of the miraculous. With Exupery it happened in Argentina. He landed on some field, not suspecting that he would get into a fairy-tale house and meet two young fairies who were friends with wild herbs and snakes. These princess savages lived in harmony with the universe. What happened to them? The transition from girlhood to the state of a married woman is fraught with fatal errors – perhaps,
In the desert, such meetings are impossible – here pilots become prisoners of the sand. The presence of the rebels made the Sahara even more hostile. Exupery knew the burden of the desert from the first voyage; when his plane crashed near a small fort in West Africa, the old sergeant received the pilots as messengers of the sky – he cried when they heard their voices.
But in the same way, the unruly Arabs of the desert were shocked, visiting France they did not know. If the rain suddenly falls in the Sahara, a great migration begins – entire tribes go three hundred leagues to find the grass. And in Savoy, precious moisture gushed, as if from a leaky cistern. And the old leaders said later that the French god is much more generous to the French than the god of the Arabs to the Arabs. Many barbarians have wavered in their faith and almost submitted to outsiders, but among them there are still those who suddenly rebel to regain their former greatness – a fallen warrior who has become a shepherd can not forget how his heart beat at the night fire. Exupery remembers talking with one of these nomads – this man was not defending freedom and not wealth, but his secret peace. The Arabs themselves were admired by the French captain Bonnafus, who made bold raids on nomadic places. His existence was adorned with sands, for there is no greater joy than the murder of such a magnificent enemy. When Bonnafus left for France, the desert seemed to have lost one of its poles. But the Arabs continued to believe that he would return for the lost sense of valor – if this happens, the rebellious tribes will receive the message on the first night. Then the soldiers silently lead the camels to the well, prepare a supply of barley and check the gates, and then perform a campaign led by a strange feeling of hatred-love. recalcitrant tribes will receive news on the first night. Then the soldiers silently lead the camels to the well, prepare a supply of barley and check the gates, and then perform a campaign led by a strange feeling of hatred-love. recalcitrant tribes will receive news on the first night. Then the soldiers silently lead the camels to the well, prepare a supply of barley and check the gates, and then perform a campaign led by a strange feeling of hatred-love.
A sense of dignity can be found even by a slave, if he has not lost his memory. All the slaves of the Arabs were given the name of Bark, but one of them remembered that he was called Mohammed and he was a driver of cattle in Marrakech. In the end, Exupery managed to redeem it. At first, Bark did not know what to do with his newfound freedom. The old negro was awakened by the smile of the child – he felt his importance on the ground, spending almost all the money for gifts to children. His guide decided that he was mad with joy. And they just owned the need to become a man among people.
Now there are no recalcitrant tribes left. The sands lost their secret. But the experience will never be forgotten. Once Exupery managed to get down to the very heart of the desert – it happened in 1935, when his plane crashed into the ground near the borders of Libya. Together with the mechanic Prevost, he spent three endless days among the sands. Sahara almost killed them: they suffered from thirst and loneliness, their reason wilted under the weight of mirages. Almost half-dead pilot told himself that he did not regret anything: he got the best share, because he left the city with his bookkeepers and returned to peasant truth. No danger attracted him – he loved and loves life.
The pilots saved the Bedouin, who seemed to them an all-powerful deity. But the truth is difficult to understand, even when you come into contact with it. At a time of higher desperation, a person finds peace of mind – probably, it was learned by Bonnafus and Guillaume. Anyone can wake up from a mental hibernation – this requires a case, favorable soil or the imperious dictates of religion. On the Madrid front, Exupéry met the sergeant, who was once a small bookkeeper in Barcelona-time called him, and he went into the army, feeling his vocation in it. There is a truth in hatred of war, but do not rush to condemn those who fight, for the truth of man is what makes him a man. In a world that has become a desert, man yearns to find comrades-those with whom the common goal binds. You can become happy only if you realize your even modest role. In the wagons of the third class, Exupéry saw the Polish workers evicted from France. The whole people were returning to their sorrows and poverty. These people looked like ugly clods of clay – so pressed their lives. But the face of the sleeping child was beautiful: he looked like a fairy-tale prince, Mozart’s baby, doomed to follow his parents through the same stamping press. These people did not suffer at all: they were tormented by Exupery, aware that Mozart might have been killed in everyone. Only the Spirit turns clay into a man. doomed to follow his parents through the same stamping press. These people did not suffer at all: they were tormented by Exupery, aware that Mozart might have been killed in everyone. Only the Spirit turns clay into a man. doomed to follow his parents through the same stamping press. These people did not suffer at all: they were tormented by Exupery, aware that Mozart might have been killed in everyone. Only the Spirit turns clay into a man.