Saint-Exupery Antoine de – Men’s Land
Saint-Exupery Antoine de – Terre des Hommes: Reading a novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is always a philosophical dive that leaves no one indifferent. The man is not only a pilot, not only a writer, he makes us live a journey in the bowels of each man and intimately mixes meditations, personal walk and testimony of the vagaries of the journey at the beginning of the era of the aerospace.
We share the excitement, mixed with anguish, discoveries of the aviation world, his first mission, immersed in the unknown sky and its mysteries. His friends are admired: Mermoz the pioneer, Guillaumet and his survival march, the so explicit silence of the man who has just grazed death; we die almost thirsty at his side when accompanied by Prévost, they crashed in the Libyan desert that almost engulfed them forever; we delude ourselves with their hallucinations, we beg for a drop of dew, even though it tastes fuel. We cling to the onslaught of unleashed elements that do not always offer a second chance. We understand better how tenuous is sometimes the cohabitation and bondage between men.
And we breathe in a more respectful way this time that life offers us, moments after moments, precious and fragile. No one speaks better of the plane than Saint-Exupery, of these planes which opened the road to the great journeys of today, and of which we do not measure any more the part of magic that meant then to arrive safely. Saint-Exupéry abandons the lyricism of the first stories as Courrier Sud or Vol de nuit and moves towards a more classical writing, dominated by philosophical preoccupations: a reflection on man in his relations with the universe. He defends through this novel the intimate necessity of belonging to the community, the mutual aid between men, the responsibility of each one on this earth; but it also advocates the search for oneself through solitude to be able to be a whole with others.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry received for this work which appeared in 1938, the Grand Prix of the novel of the French Academy. The sobriety and accuracy of the words make it a great novel … to discover or reread.