Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de

 

Born June 29, 1900, in Lyon; died July 31, 1944. French writer.

Saint-Exupéry was born into an aristocratic family. From 1919 to 1921 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and from 1921 to 1923 he served in the army. He then worked in a factory. In 1926 he became a commercial pilot and published his first story, “Pilot.” From 1927 to 1929, Saint-Exupéry was manager of an airport in North Africa. His novel Southern Mail (1929) depicted pilots as men of action and contrasted them to philistines. From 1929 to 1931, Saint-Exupéry was a pilot in South America and Africa, and in 1933 and 1934 he was a test pilot. In 1931 he published the novel Night Flight. In 1939 his Wind, Sand and Stars (Russian translation, Earth of Men) was awarded a prize by the Académie Française.

Saint-Exupéry’s works combine reportage with poetic and philosophic interpretations of his own experiences. His humanism, despite its abstractness, is democratic and antireactionary. In 1935, after a visit to the USSR, Saint-Exupéry wrote a number of essays sympathetic to socialism. In 1937 he denounced fascism in news reports from republican Spain.

During World War II (1939–45), Saint-Exupéry fought at the front as a military pilot. After the fascist German occupation of France (1940), he emigrated to the USA, where he wrote the novellas Flight to Arras (1942) and Letter to a Hostage (1943), which occupy an important place in the literature of the Resistance movement. In 1943, Saint-Exupéry became a military pilot in North Africa; on July 31, 1944, he failed to return from a reconnaissance flight.

Saint-Exupéry’s fable The Little Prince (1943) gained world renown. It combined satire on acquisitiveness with affirmation of the beauty of human relations. The unfinished The Wisdom of the Sands (published 1948) was a series of didactic parables.

WORKS

Oeuvres complètes. Paris, 1950.
In Russian translation:
Sochineniia. [Foreword by M. Vaksmakher.] Moscow, 1964.

REFERENCES

Migeo, M. Sent-Ekziuperi. Moscow, 1963.
Zonina, L. “Zametki o Sent-Ekziuperi.” Novyi mir, 1965, no. 6.
Antuan deSent-Ekziuperi: Bibliograficheskiiukazatel’. Moscow, 1966.
Albérès, R. M. Saint-Exupéry. Paris, 1961.
Chévrier, P. Sl.-Exupéry, 8th ed. Paris, 1958.
Bukowska, A. Saint-Exupéry czyli Paradoksy humanizmu. [Warsaw, 1968.]
Les Critiques de notre temps et Saint-Exupéry. Paris [1971].

M. N. VAKSMAKHER

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