Night Flight

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by wing6of8wing of Silver Spring, Maryland USA on 6/15/2024
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wing6of8wing from Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Saturday, June 15, 2024
One of many books that I recently acquired for the purposes of sharing it with others.

"We do not pray for immortality, " he thought, "but only not to see our acts and all things stripped suddenly of all their meaning; for then it is the utter emptiness of everything reveals itself."

People who have read The Little Prince sometimes debate if it is a happy story or a sad story. They debate its message or meaning. But the beauty and simplicity of the writing cannot be denied. This book by the same author has evoked the same response from me.

In the early days of aviation (approximately 1935 based on context clues) the life of pilots was cheap in many ways, with constant experimentation and pushing the envelope, heedless of the lives of men willing to risk it all for a job among the stars. This story tells of the cost of flying at night before radar or good communication or weather predictions, as 3 pilots from across South America are converging on Buenos Aires with the mail bound for Europe. A cyclone has come up and proving that planes can fly the world at night and deliver the mail cheaper than boats is at stake. At the center of this drama is the director Riviere, who controls every facet of the operation that anyone can control without himself facing any risk except loss of face. For him the mission is paramount.

In the preface, Gide refers to the character of Riviere as a hero, a man who does great things. Maybe that is how they would have viewed him in his own time. Many would probably view him that way still -- uncompromising and exacting and expecting the best from people and fighting for every inch of business advantage. To me he is suffering from Great Man Syndrome -- he believes that it is his will and his effort and his vision which is primary in the world. He feels that if he imposes his will on others that will be transferred to the world at large and the universe will bend in compliance. Therefore "we can command events and they obey us; and thus we are creators. These humble men, too, are things and we create them. Or cast them aside when mischief comes about through them. " By mischief he means anything outside his plan -- fog that delays take off, unexpected turbulence, rust, and, worst of all, human frailty.

As part of Great Man Syndrome, his burden is the heaviest and least understood by others. His efforts are the most worthy because they control the universe. The perspective of others, the needs of others, the very existence of others, is immaterial because He alone matters. Given his greatness, why is he not more appreciated by others, why does his life lack the warmth of being truly loved? In the end, he has done battle with many forces and has suffered a defeat while achieving a victory. The question of what it is all for and whether it is worth it remains unanswered for me, although I think Riviere felt it was worth everything.

Released 1 mo ago (6/17/2024 UTC) at BC-DC Meetup in -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, etc, Virginia USA


Taking this book to meet-up at Panera in Old Town. I hope it finds a good home with a fellow BookCrosser.

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Journal Entry 3 by wingSqNutZipswing at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Monday, June 17, 2024
Picked from the book buffet at the BCinDC June meet-up. I loved "The Little Prince". I have 3 copies of the "Little Prince" on my bookshelf in English, French and German.

I had the opportunity to see "The Little Prince" as an opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on the same night that US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg attended with her family & security entourage. RBG was a big opera buff. It is a beautiful and breathtaking opera, the child who played the Little Prince was phenomenal.

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