Terre des hommes

Terre des hommes[Reading] ➽ Terre des hommes Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Oaklandjobs.co.uk In 1926 de Saint Exupéry began flying for the pioneering airline Latécoère later known as Aéropostale opening up the first mail routes across the Sahara and the Andes WIND SAND AND STARS is drawn In de Saint Exupéry began flying for the pioneering airline Latécoère later known as Aéropostale opening up the first mail routes across the Sahara Terre des Epub / and the Andes WIND SAND AND STARS is drawn from this experience Interweaving encounters with nomadic Arabs and other adventures into a richly textured autobiographical narrative which includes the extraordinary story of his crash in the Libyan Desert in and his miraculous survival 'Self discovery comes when a man measures himself against an obstacle' writes Saint Exupéry This book he explores the transcendent perceptions that arise when life is tested to its limits Both a gripping tale of adventure and a poetic meditation. oh maybe I'm just a sucker for Saint Exupéry Let me go on about the title It just doesn't translate into English I LIKE the traditional English title Wind Sand and Stars but the puns all get lost They'd get lost no mattr how you translate it though In French la terre is not just the world the earth but also earth dirt ground and land; there are puns on terrain terraine landscape and territoire territory the word atterrir TO LAND an aeroplane literally means to alight on earth So all these things get talked about man's relationship to earth from above and from ON the earth but also you get uite a bit of the literal translation world of men a plea for peace and for environmental moderation All the early aviators are blown away by the beauty of the earth from the airMy favorite part of this book is where he lands on an inaccessible plateau in North Africa and after marvelling that he is the first living thing EVER to have drawn breath here notices that the place is littered with meteorites And what is so wonderful about this book is not that St X experienced that moment but that through him I get to experience it too Nous demandons à boire mais nous demandons aussi à communiuer The pages are filled with the desperation to communicate man's love of solitude tempered and ruined by his dependence on others This is the landscape of The Little Prince all the characters are here and were realIncidentally I'd forgotten what a huge influence the core story in this book plane crash in the desert and subseuent brush with nearly dying of thirst was on my own book The SunbirdThis is the first time I've read this book in French It's not long and it's very accessible to the struggling Francophile Whenever I am forced to name my most favorite book ever my automatic response is Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince I read it first when I was a boy but I did not understand what was it all about except the hat with an elephant inside and the planet with big trees called baobab The second time was in college when it was a reuired reading in World Literature I did not really like it until my professor explained that the novel was about man’s search for friendship I recall that there was no internet at the time and I still had to go to the school library to research on Saint Ex’s life so I can make a better book report We were not reuired to read other books that was great since you know how busy a college student can be of the same author and there was no Wikipedia yet So my knowledge of Saint Ex stopped with his tale of this little prince I re read it from cover to cover this month as it was voted by the Filipinos here in Goodreads for February 2012 group read It was for this reason why I read this other popular Antoine de Saint Exupery’s book Wind Sand and Stars I wanted to find out about the man and probably about The Little PrinceSince this was originally written in French its title was Terre des homes that literally means “Land of Men” when it was published in France in 1939 Later that year it was published in the US as “Land of People” But when The Little Prince became a worldwide phenomenon in 1943 the US publishers changed the title to Wind Sand and Stars maybe to establish its connection between the two books In the US this book Wind Sand and Stars won the National Book Award in 1939 for the Non Fiction Category The National Geographic Adventure magazine also memoir as No 3 in its all time list of 100 best adventure exploration booksFor you who loved The Little Prince read this book You will see semblances of that book’s characters and events with what happened to Saint Ex in this book There is a scene here where Saint Ex the pilot of Aerospostale airmail carrier landed in a place full of meteorites There is his bestfriend Henri Guillaumet 1902 1940 who in June 13 1930 crashed in another place and though tempted to give up he persisted while thinking of his wife Noëlle very similar to Saint Ex thinking of his rose until June 19 at dawn when he was rescued by a 14 year old boy named Juan García who should be his inspiration for his Little Prince character Some critics say that Guillaumet is Little Prince himself or maybe the fox but Saint Ex dedicated that book to Leon Werth his other friend who he met in 1931 Léon Werth 1878 1955 spent the war unobtrusively in Saint Amour his village in the Jura a mountainous region near Switzerland where he was alone cold and hungry and had few nice words on French refugees Saint Ex returned to Europe in early 1943 rationalizing I cannot bear to be far from those who are hungry I am leaving in order to suffer and thereby be united with those who are dear to meThe book is very insightful He reminded me of Richard Bach who wrote my favorite love story The Bridge Across Forever Saint Ex brilliantly connected love life flying and male friendship I am sure that he inspired Bach who is also a pilot and a novelistThe only difficulty I had with this book was my zero interest on flying I am of a sea or mountain person Thus there were parts when I could not stop hum hum while reading But overall since I love The Little Prince I appreciated to the answers this book provided me Answers to the uestions that I had when I was a little boy for the first time reading about the little prince in the desert up to the time when I re read it in college and learned that it was about man's search for friendship I know nothing nothing in the world eual to the wonder of nightfall in the air Mermoz said once “It’s worth it it’s worth the final smash up” Flying in 2015 has become about as commonplace and unexciting as taking the subway to work or the train to the weekend lodge It is safer than driving a car and most of the work beside take offs and landings is done by sophisticated instruments What we have gained in safety and comfort We may have lost in our sense of wonder and our perspective Antoine de Saint Exupery poet and pioneer aviator is probably our best guide back to the miracle of flight and this present autobiographical novel is I believe the best example of his profound humanism and lyrical prose Considering some common details about a plane crash in the desert the eagle eye view of humans struggling to fill in huge empty spaces on a planet hurtling through a vast emptiness the common themes of friendship love death peace Terre des Hommes is closely related to Le Petit Prince the famous novella about the boy who looks at earth with innocent and hopeful eyesIn structure the novel pays homage to the early days of the Aeropostale the first French company who opened up new routes of travel from Europe to Sahara over the Andes in South America to the Far East and beyond It shows us the people for whom courage was only a short step away from suicidal madness throwing themselves with reckless abandon in the middle of the storm without navigation instruments and with weak radio stations to guide them back to ground I could uote whole pages but I tried to restrain myself to a couple of the best examples Thus when Mermoz first crossed the South Atlantic in a hydroplane as day was dying he ran foul of the Black Hole region off Africa Straight ahead of him were the tails of tornadoes rising minute by minute gradually higher rising as a wall is built; and then the night came down upon these preliminaries and swallowed them up; and when an hour later he slipped under the clouds he came out into a fantastic kingdomGreat black waterspouts had reared themselves seemingly in the immobility of temple pillars Swollen at their tops they supported the suat and lowering arch of the tempest but through the rifts in the arch there fell slabs of light and the full moon sent her radiant beams between the pillars down upon the frozen tiles of the sea Through these uninhabited ruins Mermoz made his way gliding slantwise from one channel of light to the next circling round those giant pillars in which there must have rumbled the upsurge of the sea flying for four hours through these corridors of moonlight towards the exit from the temple And this spectacle was so overwhelming that only after he had got through the Black Hole did Mermoz awaken to the fact that he had not been afraid Mermoz and his mechanic had been forced down at an altitude of twelve thousand feet on a table land at whose edges the mountains dropped sheer on all sides For two mortal days they hunted a way off this plateau But they were trapped Everywhere the same sheer drop And so they played their last cardThemselves still in it they sent the plane rolling and bouncing down an incline over the rocky ground until it reached the precipice went off into air and dropped In falling the plane picked up enough speed to respond to the controls Mermoz was able to tilt its nose in the direction of a peak sweep over the peak and while the water spurted through all the pipes burst by the night frost the ship already disabled after only seven minutes of flight he saw beneath him like a promised land the Chilean plainAnd the next day he was at it again When I think of Guillaumet Mermoz Saint Exupery and of their colleagues in the Aeropostale I have this image of one of our Romanian monuments to the early aviators their arms spread out and covered with feathers they went to the sky as naturally as we walk they fought singlehanded against wind darkness cold and tiredness and they paid dearly for their daring falling back to ground in flames like Icarus In their own words It was worth it Even as the peasant strolling about his domain is able to foresee in a thousand signs the coming of the spring the threat of frost a promise of rain so all that happens in the sky signals to the pilot the oncoming snow the expectancy of fog or the peace of a blessed night The machine which at first blush seems a means of isolating man from the great problems of nature actually plunges him deeply into them As for the peasant so for the pilot dawn and twilight become events of conseuence His essential problems are set to him by the mountain the sea the wind Alone before the vast tribunal of the tempestuous sky the pilot defends his mails and debates on terms of euality with those three elemental divinitiesAn interesting chapter describes the flying machines they used on their missions and Saint Exupery uses the occasion to lash out at those who complain about the modern man’s dependence on technology It is not the tool itself that drives us away from nature but the way we use it Like the ever present so called ‘smart’ phones they are not making us lonely by breaking up our direct contact with our fellow men their role is actually to make it easier to communicate and get in touch Airplanes also bring us closer together by reducing the travel times and thus the distances that separate us Transport of the mails transport of the human voice transport of the flickering pictures – in this century as in others our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together Do our dreamers hold that the invention of writing of printing of the sailing ship degraded the human spirit? While acknowledging the dangers of man being made to serve the machine industry the poet sees further and deeper and argues for the spiritual liberation that the conuest of the air brings us A man cannot live a decent life in cities and I need to feel myself live I am not thinking of aviation The airplane is a means not an end One doesn’t risk one’s life for a plane any than a farmer ploughs for the sake of the plough But the airplane is a means of getting away from towns and their bookkeeping and coming to grips to realityFlying is a man’s job and its worries are a man’s worries A pilot’s business is with the wind with the stars with night with sand with the sea He strives to outwit the forces of nature He stares in expectancy for the coming of dawn the way a gardener awaits the coming of spring He looks forward to port as to a promised land and truth for him is what lives in the stars The winds sand and stars of the title are revealed here as the keepers of the ultimate truth about life and about our place in the universe An eagle eye look at our planet from several thousand feet up in the air helps to put life in perspective showing how insignificant some of our daily worries are how feeble is our grip on the earth’s crust how much a simple drink of water may mean to a man dying of thirst and how the most important thing we can do is to share the burden with another human being The main event in the novel is a plane crash in Sahara The desert like it did with countless prophets is one of the best places in the world to bare a soul naked and bring it closer to divinity It is not surprising that such a powerful revelation will mark the author’s writing both here and in Le Petit Prince When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky for I was lying on my back with outstretched arms face to face with that hatchery of stars Only half awake still unaware that those depths were sky having no roof between those depths and me no branches to screen them no root to cling to I was seized with vertigo and felt myself flung forth and plunging downward like a diverBut I did not fall From nape to heel I discovered myself bound to earth I felt a sort of appeasement in surrendering to it my weight Gravitation had become as sovereign as love The earth I felt was supporting my back sustaining me lifting me up transporting me through the immense void of night I was glued to our planet by a pressure like that which one is glued to the side of the car on a curve I leaned with joy against this admirable breast work this solidity this security feeling against my body this curving bridge of my ship From the austere purity of the desert the poet turns reporter and takes us on a trip to Spain during the civil war trying to understand the impulses and the failures that drive brother against brother Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction There is no comradeship except through union in the same high effort Even in our age of material well being this must be so else how should we explain the happiness we feel in sharing our last crust with others in the desert? What sets us against one another is not our aims – they all come to the same thing – but our methods which are the fruit of our varied reasoning With this last uote I move from the English title to the original French one Terre des hommes For Saint Exupery we are all one nation one people rich in diversity but united in spirit divided by language religion or politics but brothers in arms before the court of desert and stars Flight is a tool not a destination and the best use we can put it to is to open us up to the beauty of companionship From his whole career as a pilot the poet values most the times he shared his passion and his experiences with his comrades a beautiful word that should not be held hostage to political propaganda We told stories we joked we sang songs In the air there was that slight fever that reigns over a gaily prepared feast And yet we were infinitely poor Wind sand and stars The austerity of Trappists But on this badly lighted cloth a handful of men who possessed nothing in the world but their memories were sharing invisible richesWe had met at last Men travel side by side for years each locked up in his own silence or exchanging those words which carry no freight – till danger comes Then they stand shoulder to shoulder They discover that they belong to the same family They wax and bloom in the recognition of fellow beings They look at one another and smile They are like the prisoner set free who marvels at the immensity of the seaHappiness It is useless to seek it elsewhere than in this warmth of human relations Our sordid interests imprison us within their walls Only a comrade can grasp us by the hand and haul us free Saint Exupery died like many of his comrades he shared a meal with in the desert doing what he loved best in the world – flying Or maybe like his Prince he visited us for a while and then went back to his tiny planet to tend his volcano and his flower He left behind a message of hope for the future and of trust in our ability to gather together when danger threatens us I tried here to explain why he is than a favourite author he is an old friend that walked beside me and pointed out the beauty of a sunset or of a child’s smile the necessity of sharing Old friends cannot be created out of hand Nothing can match the treasure of common memories of trials endured together of uarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions It is idle having planted an acorn in the morning to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oakSo life goes on For years we plant the seed we feel ourselves rich; and then come other years when time does its work and our plantation is made sparse and thin One by one our comrades slip away deprive us of their shade If I had to choose between The Little Prince and this book I'd choose this book because in a way you can use it to derive Saint Exupéry's classic If The Little Prince is the diamond this book is the coal a hard earned mass of adventure and experience The book reads like a long letter from your most astonishing friend Sublime Transcendant beautiful embracing When I read three books in a row where this book featured prominently The Goldfinch was one I felt the book calling to me For me it was not the type of book that I could sit down and read in one go I wanted to mull and linger on the words and to embrace St Exupery's words demands a kind of internal honesty and emotionality from the reader that can be freeing but also emotionally exhausting I think that is why I put it down so often I mean I started this book August 2014 and finished August 2016 how is that for timing? Still an excellent book and one I would suggest to anyone that likes a good adventure memoir or wants to uestion the human condition or spirit What a man What a life What a soul I purchased this book from the Folio Society on 8 January 1993 I have this rather annoying habit of stating in my books when and where I purchased them Just a uirk that I haveI was a member of this book club and just liked the look of the cover and in my stupidity I thought that it would just be about the desert that I lovethe wind and stars I had no idea that this French aristrocrat writer poet and author of the Le Petit Prince was a pilotI must confess that initially I thought it all rather difficult to absorb but I was determined to enjoy this book and I did indeed What an incredible individual and a true adventurer I was inspired by it all and to think that he died in the forties Such a shame I hope that there is indeed an afterlife because this gentleman truly deserves it Plus he has given great pleasure to a minor individual like me and for that I applaud himMr Saint Exupéry has a place in history which is richly desrved and I just recommend book this to everyone and to all ages This book is in many ways a wonderful background book for The Little Prince The non fiction stories of the author's adventures as a pilot allowed me to see the man behind one of my all time favorite books The Little Prince is one of those books where you can sense the soul of the author and Saint Exupéry's non fiction books like this one let you see that your initial intuition while reading The Little Prince was correct This is a very un sentimental look at courage and at the urge we all have to transcend what Saint Exupéry calls the bureaucracy of our lives Saint Exupéry responds to this universal need by delivering mail in the frail two person air machines of the 1930's over routes that take him through deserts and alps and oceans Although this book was written after The Little Prince the events of the book happened before Saint Exupéry wrote his timeless children's book so it is possible to see in some of his adventures the seeds of that great book I smiled when he talked about seeing a desert fox when he was stranded on top of a sand dune and I understood what he meant when he talked about the stars that reveal themselves only to those who are brave enough to walk into the darkness of solitude But what will stay with me forever is the hope and love for life that Saint Exupéry managed to find within himself in order to keep going and keep living and keep walking when all seemed lost and death by sunstroke and dehydration seemed imminent I understood then how the author could write a book of simple beauty and wisdom like The Little Prince This short memoir for me was a wonderful adventure in flying and parallel inward journey by the author That puts this book on an honored shelf with Mathiessen’s “The Snow Leopard” St Expery’s experiences in the 20’s with the French airmail service to North Africa and South America had comparable mind altering impacts and serious humbling in the face of nature’s powers But instead of a serious uest and a single journey we get a open ended set of stories bound to his flying career and pathways of development for the author’s core values and sources of hope for the human race I delayed writing this review for half a year since reading it It is the kind of delicious book where you want to mark passages on almost every page so it was hard to pin down the real take home messages worth sharing With some perspective now I can boil my pleasures down It makes you feel connected to the universe And part of a human community also struggling to comprehend and come to terms with its mysteries and epiphanies treacheries and cruel destructionsThe mysteries that flying opens his mind to come immediately with its ticket to a leap into different perspectives How small all our human constructions appear from the air How uickly you can be in a different world among the clouds get lost among dangerous mountains vast deserts or the endless sea We get to share in the joys and fears of his first flights The experience of unboundedness is balanced by strange connections with the plane the technological wonder his life depends on He is grounded as well with the camaraderie of his team including the mechanic and radio man he usually shared his flights with and the fellow pilots he bonded with between flights These connections rise to special prominence when he or others get in storms fall out of radio communications or get stranded after being forced into an emergency landing after euipment failure or fuel shortage Here is a sample passage that contrasts the mild disorientations of a routine flight with the potent impact of others So the crew fly on with no thought that they are in motion Light night over the sea they are very far from the earth from towns from trees The motors fill the lighted chamber with a silver that changes its substance The clock ticks on The dials the radio lamps the various ands and needles go through their invisible alchemy From second to second these mysterious stirrings a few muffled words a concentrated tenseness contribute to the end result And when the hour is at hand the pilot may glue his forehead to the window with perfect assurance Out of oblivion the gold has been smelted there it gleams in the lights of the airportAnd yet we have all known flights when of a sudden each for himself it has seemed to us that we have crossed the border of the world of reality; when only a couple of hours from port we have felt ourselves distant from it than we should feel if we were in India; when there has come premonition of an incursion into a forbidden world whence it was going to be infinitely difficult to return And with that we knew ourselves to be lost in interplanetary space among a thousand inaccessible planets we who sought only the one veritable planet our own that planet on which alone we should find our familiar countryside the houses of our friends our treasuresHere the author captures so powerfully some of his altered states of consciousness while stranded in the Sahara at night Once in this same mineral Sahara I was taught that a dream might partake of the miraculous When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky for I was lying on my back with outstretched arms face to face with that hatchery of stars Only half awake still unaware that those depths were sky having no roof between those depths and me no branches to screen them no root to cling to I was seized by vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downriver like a diverBut I did not fall From nape to heel I discovered myself bound to earth I felt a sort of appeasement in surrendering to my weight Gravitation had become as sovereign as love The immense void of night I was glued to our planet by a pressure like that which one is glued to the side of a car on a curve I leaned with joy against this admirable best work this solidity this security feeling against my body this curving bridge of my shipI lay there pondering my situation lost in the desert and in danger naked between sky and sand withdrawn by too much silence from the poles of my life I knew that I should wear out days and weeks returning to them if I were not sighted by some plane or if next day the Moors did not find and murder me Here I possessed nothing in the world I was no than a mortal strayed between sand and stars conscious of the single blessing of breathing And yet I discovered myself filled with dreamsWhere it comes to trips to South America there is a sense of real pioneering Crossing a mountain range like the Andes without radar or a pressurized cabin was uite a challenge they routinely faced He shares the story of a close friend who miraculously walked out of the mountains after a winter crash When St Exupery first visits the most southernmost town in the Chilean Patagonia struggles hard to feel a connection with ordinary people I landed in the peace of the evening Punta Arenas I leaned against a fountain and looked at the girls in the suare Standing there within a couple of feet of their grace I felt poignantly than ever the human mysteryIn a world in which life so perfectly responds to life where flowers mingle with flowers in the wind’s eye where the swan is the familiar of all swans man alone builds his isolation What a space between men their spiritual natures create A girl’s reverie isolates her from me and how shall I enter into it? What can one know of a girl who passes walking with slow steps homeward eyes lowered smiling to herself filled with adorable inventions and with fables? Out of the thoughts the voice the silences of a lover she can form an empire and thereafter sees in all the world but him a people of barbarians More surely than if she were on another planet I feel her to be locked up in her language in her secret in her habits in the singing echoes of her memory Born yesterday of the volcanoes of greenswards of brine of the sea she walks here already half divineI know nothing I do not enter into their empires Man in the presence of man is as solitary as in the face of a wide winter sky in which there sweeps never to be tamed a flight of trumpeting geeseThis book was a small wonder for me and I expect it would be so for many of my friends It reminds me of the line from Leonard Cohen “We are so small between the stars so large against the sky” In a couple of sittings you can be transported and return to earth a better person I found a free copy on the internet but I can’t share it because I don’t know if it is an illegal version The steadily growing stream of birth and marriage announcements on my Facebook feed has led me to rethink these “steps” that most people take each passing year I used to think and still sometimes do when I’m feeling unsure or cynical that this seemingly prewritten way of living of societal norms pushing us forward was depressing evidence for a lack of creativity But lately I see these steps not as predetermined chains on a pair of manacles we never knew we were wearing but as a climb up a mountain or a neverending game of “I dare you” I dare you to try to do something different to remember or to learn how best to live We only have one first A first time riding in a plane a first time seeing the ocean a first time eating an orange a first time falling in love It happens and it finishes in the same moment A simultaneous life and death that will slowly kill us if we don’t realize it Antoine de Saint Exupéry wants us to realize it To do so he shares exuisite moments where he realized it during his career as an Aéropostale pilot in Northern Africa and South America He’s lying atop a pebbled ledge in the Sahara Desert and finds a meteorite and knows he’s the only soul who has ever seen this rock It’s a first but one that he wants us to savor He’s in the desert in Libya three days without water and he sees fantastic mirages—they are false but they are something new only once and he wants us to appreciate that What he wants is neither that new nor that radical By recounting his memories he wants to inspire us to unlock our hands from our keyboards to put our wallets back in our pockets to unleash the shopkeepers from their shops to look in a mirror to look at each other and to recognize something In English this humanist adventure tale is titled Wind Sand and Stars evocative but lacking The French title Terre des hommes or Land of Men is better There is no wind there is no sand there are no stars if we are not there to observe them or even to appreciate them Life is a battle to stay awake And according to Saint Exupéry it doesn’t have to be much of a battle if we just look around every once and a while Whether we’re flying across the Andes in a snowstorm straining to find the light of a house and human soul below or whether we simply open our eyes while walking down the street we can win the battle Being awake will no longer mean adhering to a game of “I dare you” a set of steps leading to to stop us from getting bored Everyday can have a first every person can be awake if we remember every single moment that we’re alive on this sphere in the universe Of course I know it is a mirage Am I the sort of man who can be fooled? But what if I want to go after that mirage? Suppose I enjoy indulging my hope? Suppose it suits me to love that crenelated town all beflagged with sunlight? What if I choose to walk straight ahead on light feet for you must know that I have dropped my weariness behind me I am happy now

Terre des hommes eBook á Terre des  Epub /
  • Paperback
  • 160 pages
  • Terre des hommes
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • 22 November 2014
  • 9780241261644