Sonntag, 7. April 2013

Where are they today...? Part One: Reviewing a bitter article about "The Little Prince".

Seventy years ago, on April 6, 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published his short novel Le Petit Prince - The Little Prince.

"It is a poetic tale self-illustrated in watercolours in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The story is philosophical and includes societal criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world.
Though ostensibly a children's book, The Little Prince makes several profound and idealistic observations about life and human nature. For example, Saint-Exupéry tells of a fox meeting the young prince during his travels on Earth. The story's essence is contained in the lines uttered by the fox to the little prince: On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ("One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.")."

(Quoted from Wikipedia)

"taz" authors Michael Gückel and Corinna Stegemann have written an article for the column "Die Wahrheit" ("The Truth"), presenting the former child star as an old, sick and feeble alcoholic who has turned bitter and lost all of his dreamy and wanderlust qualities from his childhood celebrity days, when he inspired children and adults alike. The bitter and often loveless world has sucked the marrow of his life from him, it seems, leaving a sad and depressed hull behind, who has suffered, as many childhood celebrities suffer when growing up, stumbling into traps like alcohol and drug abuse, depression, suicide attempts, therapies, criminal careers... The authors are dumping the whole possible bad that could happen to former celebrities onto the aged prince's shoulders, leaving us alone with the image of a broken old man... It's all too clear, that the article is a fictitious exaggeration, but it carries a message: the wisdom that "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." still has not entered the hearts of our so-called "civilized" society. It's still all about the eye, the fake and feigning, the numbers on those pieces of paper we are so eager to collect. Indeed, someone believing in the heart being at the center of things, can turn bitter when growing up and seeing that all he has tried to teach us has fallen to deaf ears, that the soil of our hearts and souls remains barren and arid, while greed and violence prevail.

But as long as there is at least one human being believing in the message given by Saint-Exupéry's novella, that it's the heart that matters, not all hope is lost. And from communicating with my kindred spirits out there and having met them in real life, too, I know that hope and its message are still very much alive.

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