The Little Prince

中文名:
小王子
作者:
安东尼·德·圣-埃克苏佩里 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
类型:
儿童读物
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小王子(The Little Prince)简介:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.
The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. It's a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not only the great fairy tales but also such monuments of postmodern whimsy as Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. And despite his tone of gentle bemusement, Saint-Exupéry pulls off some fine satiric touches, too. There's the king, for example, who commands the Little Prince to function as a one-man (or one-boy) judiciary:

I have good reason to believe that there is an old rat living somewhere on my planet. I hear him at night. You could judge that old rat. From time to time you will condemn him to death. That way his life will depend on your justice. But you'll pardon him each time for economy's sake. There's only one rat.
The author pokes similar fun at a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. Yet his tale is ultimately a tender one--a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude, which never turns into Peter Pan-style treacle. Such delicacy of tone can present real headaches for a translator, and in her 1943 translation, Katherine Woods sometimes wandered off the mark, giving the text a slightly wooden or didactic accent. Happily, Richard Howard (who did a fine nip-and-tuck job on Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma in 1999) has streamlined and simplified to wonderful effect. The result is a new and improved version of an indestructible classic, which also restores the original artwork to full color. "Trying to be witty," we're told at one point, "leads to lying, more or less." But Saint-Exupéry's drawings offer a handy rebuttal: they're fresh, funny, and like the book itself, rigorously truthful. --James Marcus

《小王于》小说叙述者是个飞行员,他在故事一开始告诉读者,他在大人世界找不到一个说话投机的人,因为大人都太讲实际了。接着,飞行员讲了六年前他因飞机故障迫降在撒哈拉沙漠遇见小王子故事。神秘的小王子来自另一个星球。飞行员讲了小王子和他的玫瑰的故事。小王子为什么离开自己的星球;在抵达地球之前,他又访问过哪些星球。他转述了小王子对六个星球的历险,他遇见了国王、爱虚荣的人、酒鬼、商人、点灯人、地理学家、蛇、三枚花瓣的沙漠花、玫瑰园、扳道工、商贩、狐狸以及我们的叙述者飞行员本人。飞行员和小王子在沙漠中共同拥有过一段极为珍贵的友谊。当小王子离开地球时,飞行员非常悲伤。他一直非常怀念他们共度的时光......
《小王于》曾是法国最著名的书,也是全世界最令人喜爱的书,现在仍是!尽管这本法国人写的童话于1943年在美国首次出版,而法国人却只愿意记得它的法国出版日——1946年4月。2006年4月,法国人高调为它过了60岁大寿,他们用法语向全球宣布:《小王子》刚满60周岁!那就让我们尊重骄傲的法国人的意愿,再纪念一次《小王子》诞生60周年吧!根据《小壬子》官方网站公布的最新数据,此书在全世界己销售8000万册,仅在法国的销量就达1100万册。它已被译成160余种语言,中文版本估计有上百种之多。几年前,法国人毫不吝啬地将“20世纪最佳洁语图书”的桂冠授予了《小王子》,《追忆似水年华》等一连串伟大的现代文学经典也只能排名其后。

安东尼·德·圣-埃克苏佩里的作品

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