Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
09:03 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
17 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Art
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
NYC museum presents ‘The Little Prince’ exhibition
Associated Press
A+ A-

NEW YORK: Antoine de Saint-Exupery crafted “The Little Prince” in New York City, mentioning Rockefeller Center and Long Island in one draft of the beloved children’s tale – references he ultimately deleted.

That page is contained in the French author’s original handwritten manuscript, which is the subject of a major exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum on the 70th anniversary of the book’s French publication – a year after its U.S. debut.

“The Little Prince: A New York Story,” which opens Jan. 24, features 35 of his original watercolors and 25 pages from his heavily revised 140-page text, written in Saint-Exupery’s tiny script.

Some visitors may be surprised to learn that “The Little Prince,” which has been translated into more than 250 languages and dialects, was written and first published in New York.

“It’s well documented that he wrote the book here, but it’s not well known to the general public,” said Christine Nelson, curator of literary and historical manuscripts at the Morgan.

“Because the manuscript brings you back to the moment of creation, we wanted to set the exhibition in the place and time of creation,” she said. “It focuses on the emergence of this work in New York during the war. He was writing it just within miles of where this exhibition is being shown.”

A French aviator and best-selling author, Saint-Exupery didn’t live to see his book published in France after the war. He died while piloting a reconnaissance flight in 1944, weeks before the liberation of Paris.

“The Little Prince” tells the adventures of a boy who hails from a tiny asteroid no larger than a house. On his way to Earth, he visits other planets and meets a king, a conceited man, a drunkard, a lamplighter and a geographer. On Earth, he encounters a fox who teaches him that “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The phrase is the book’s central theme and one Saint-Exupery revised 15 times, including the version “What matters cannot be seen.”

Saint-Exupery came to New York after France fell to Germany in 1940. He spent two years living near Central Park and Manhattan’s East Side and renting a summer home on Long Island’s North Shore.

Frequently, he wrote at the Park Avenue home of his close friend Silvia (Hamilton) Reinhardt. He entrusted his handwritten manuscript to her before he rejoined his squadron in North Africa.

Spokesmen from the Morgan said the museum acquired the manuscript from her in 1968. Saint-Exupery’s French publisher, Gallimard, has just published a facsimile of the working manuscript.

“This is very much a preliminary draft,” Nelson said, “a work in progress and yet to anyone who knows the book well it will be entirely recognizable.”

Among the exhibition’s highlights is an unpublished drawing that Saint-Exupery had wadded up and tossed showing the prince wearing his signature yellow scarf floating over Earth. Some of the illustrations are paired with images from the first edition.

The pages on view include episodes from the prince’s time on Earth that were deleted entirely from the final version: A meeting with a storekeeper who gives him a lesson on marketing and an encounter with an investor who has a machine that meets every need with just the push of a button.

“He was a very diligent author,” Nelson said. “He worked, labored, revised, read out loud to people ... he was very interested in people’s response to the story.”

There’s also a three-page draft of an alternate ending in which the narrator muses about what happened to the little prince after he left Earth.

“It’s much more agonized and melancholy and reads as a war-time text,” Nelson said. “The final version is more open-ended, more mysterious, leaving it up to the reader to conclude how to feel at the end of the prince’s journey.”

The exhibition also features a silver identity bracelet that Saint-Exupery was wearing when he was killed. It is on loan from Saint-Exupery’s Paris estate.

Never before exhibited in the U.S., the bracelet, said estate director Olivier d’Agay, “was recovered in 1998 after it was snagged in a fisherman’s net and bears the author’s name and the New York address of his American publisher [Reynal & Hitchcock].”

The exhibition, he added, helps “reinforce the bonds of friendship between the French and the Americans through one of the most beloved books of all time.”

“The Little Prince: A New York Story” opens Jan. 24 and runs through April 27.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 08, 2014, on page 16.
Home Art
 
     
 
United States of America
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
Antoine de Saint-Exupery crafted "The Little Prince" in New York City, mentioning Rockefeller Center and Long Island in one draft of the beloved children's tale – references he ultimately deleted.

"The Little Prince: A New York Story," which opens Jan. 24, features 35 of his original watercolors and 25 pages from his heavily revised 140-page text, written in Saint-Exupery's tiny script.

Some visitors may be surprised to learn that "The Little Prince," which has been translated into more than 250 languages and dialects, was written and first published in New York.

A French aviator and best-selling author, Saint-Exupery didn't live to see his book published in France after the war.

Among the exhibition's highlights is an unpublished drawing that Saint-Exupery had wadded up and tossed showing the prince wearing his signature yellow scarf floating over Earth.

The exhibition also features a silver identity bracelet that Saint-Exupery was wearing when he was killed.
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS