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Flight to Arras (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Antoine Saint-Exupery
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

25 May 2000 Penguin Modern Classics
The French Writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), was born in Lyon. His first two books, SOUTHERN MAIL and NIGHT FLIGHT, are distinguished by a poetic evocation of the romance and discipline of flying. Later works, including WIND, SAND AND STARS and FLIGHT TO ARRAS, stress his humanistic philosophy. Saint-Exupéry's popular children's book THE LITTLE PRINCE is also read by adults for its allegorical meaning. Saint-Exupéry's plane disappeared during a mission in World War II.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (25 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141183187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141183183
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

The French Writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), was born in Lyon. His first two books, SOUTHERN MAIL and NIGHT FLIGHT, are distinguished by a poetic evocation of the romance and discipline of flying. Later works, including WIND, SAND AND STARS and FLIGHT TO ARRAS, stress his humanistic philosophy. Saint-Exupéry's popular children's book THE LITTLE PRINCE is also read by adults for its allegorical meaning. Saint-Exupéry's plane disappeared during a mission in World War II.

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I must be dreaming. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but unforgettable 4 Mar 2005
Format:Paperback
A short but searing personal account of a suicidal reconnaissance mission flown as France was collapsing before the Nazi surprise attack. From the vantage point of this short flight, Saint Exupery saw the whole tragedy: the population of the North taking to the roads south, unable to bear the repetition of the pain that they had suffered less than a quarter of a century earlier, and the utter impossibility of getting any help to the elderly reservists that faced the blitzkrieg.
To read this book is to understand two things: how the view of the pilot can increase his sympathy rather than his detachment, and what the collapse of France was like. How a country with rough parity of equipment and forces could be so quickly defeated by a neighbour is a matter for military historians, but as for what it was like to be on the losing side, I can not think of a better account.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on a wet Cornish holiday in '63 because it had a crude scrawl of an aeroplane on the cover, and I like flight. I little dreamed that by such pure chance I had picked up a masterpiece, but I had. St. Exupery was one of those superb freaks that - all too infrequently - nature can produce: a man of action with the mind of a philospher and the soul of a poet, with the ability to express them all with lucid clarity. He was said to be a terrible pilot, and intellectuals will pooh-pooh his 'metaphysics'. Forget that. When he disappeared, flying reconnaisance over the Med. during the war, we more normal mortals lost a marvellous example of how fine humans can be when given the chance, and humanity lost one of its graces. He was only forty or so, and had he lived he would have been recognised as one of the greats both of literature and of cultivated thought. As it is we have only these few little jewels of books by which we can appreciate his qualities and perhaps realise that we, too, can be so much better than we are.
'Flight to Arrass' is an account of a reconnaisance flight over occupied France, probably based on his personal experience, first at high altitude, then lethally low. In this extraordinary pilot-writer's mind, potential sudden death becomes transmuted into a magical account of memories which provide beauty, humour and wisdom, and his extraordinary ability as a writer puts you in the pilot's seat as you have never been before. You live with him the peril of being there, and you enter the wonderful world of his mentality in his detached response to terror and imminent abrupt extinction. All his books give you immediate access to a world of experiences which you otherwise will never meet, seen through eyes of unique maturity and intelligence.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on a wet Cornish holiday in '63 because it had a crude scawl of an aeroplane on the cover, and I like flight. I little dreamed that by pure chance I had picked up a masterpiece, but I had. St. Exupery was one of those superb freaks that - all too infrequently - nature can produce: a man of action with the mind of a philospher and the soul of a poet, with the ability to express them all with lucid clarity.
He was said to be a terrible pilot, and intellectuals will pooh-pooh his 'metaphysics'. Forget that. When he disappeared, flying reconnaisance over the Med. during the war, we more normal mortals lost a marvellous example of how fine humans can be when given the chance, and humanity lost one of its graces. He was only forty or so, and had he lived he would have been recognised as one of the greats both of literature and of cultivated thought. As it is we have only these few little jewels of books by which we can appreciate his qualities and perhaps realise that we, too, can be so much better than we are.
'Flight to Arrass' is an account of a reconnaisance flight over occupied France, probably based on his personal experience, first at high altitude, then lethally low. In this extraordinary pilot-writer's mind, potential sudden death becomes transmuted into a magical account of memories which provide beauty, humour and wisdom, and his extraordinary ability as a writer puts you in the pilot's seat as you have never been before. You live with him the peril of being there, and you enter the wonderful world of his mentality in his detached response to terror and imminent abrupt extinction. All his books give you immediate access to a world of experiences which you otherwise will never meet, seen through eyes of maturity and intelligence.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Galantiere x William Rees Translations 5 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
I would like to point out that Galantiere's translation falls short in terms of the target language i.e. English, particularly if compared to William Rees' rendition, which verges on perfection. I have read both translations, Galantiere's ten years ago. I have examined it again recently, after parting with my copy of William Rees' translation on behalf of a friend. There is absolutely no going back to it after Rees'. You cannot identify Saint-Ex's voice. The flow of the narrative is faulty even to one acquainted with the French language. I think Rees' has done a wonderful job, recovering the clarity of a most gifted man's mind and helping non-speakers of the French language to recognize Flight to Arras for what it really is: a masterpiece.
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