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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty and timeless charm of this book will appealto all
The magical quality of this book, and its ability to make us re-examine the way we view children makes this one of my favorite books. The Little prince seems to be a symbol of childhood innocence, especially in today's busy society. Antoine de Saint-Exupery's illustrations only add further magic to this beautiful book. A must read and treasure
Published on 6 April 2001

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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book in an altogether inadequate translation
Richard Howard's cold, hard translation of Le Petit Prince loses all the grace and charm of the original work. Seek out Katherine Woods's original translation of this book--although she was criticized for translating the story too literally, Howard's "streamlined" version loses absolutely EVERYTHING. I've only studied French for a few years, but I've already found one...
Published on 23 Dec 2003


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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book in an altogether inadequate translation, 23 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Little Prince (The Anniversary Edition) (Paperback)
Richard Howard's cold, hard translation of Le Petit Prince loses all the grace and charm of the original work. Seek out Katherine Woods's original translation of this book--although she was criticized for translating the story too literally, Howard's "streamlined" version loses absolutely EVERYTHING. I've only studied French for a few years, but I've already found one word that he has mistranslated. Concerning the picture of the baobabs, Saint-Exupery uses the word "grandiose." While Woods used "magnificent and impressive," Howard replaced this with "big." Despicable. I realize he probably misread the word, but I was already unhappy with this new version as I was reading through it. The rest of his translation proved to be completely pointless. He does not come close to matching Woods.
I'm also offended that the publishers would try to replace Woods's classic translation with one that has language they consider to be more modern. Le Petit Prince was written in the 1940s with what would assumedly be French of the 1940s. Thus, wouldn't it make sense to keep it in English of the 1940s?
Please do your best to obtain a copy of a version of The Little Prince from well before 2000. Howard has no love for our little prince. His rendition of the book holds no compassion.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one of the greatest books ever written, destroyed by bad translation, 23 Aug 2007
By 
Leah Mcgowan (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Little Prince (Hardcover)
I originally read this book in the katherine woods translation and feel in love. I bought this new translation as a gift for a friend however, after noticing it was different, I read it. What a monstrousity of a translation! I suppose the translator was attempting to "modernize" the speech but in reality they simply dumbed down the content. This translation has lost the beautiful poetic flow of the katherine woods translation. It is like an entirely different book. Why publishers felt the need to fix something that was never broken is beyond me.
I was so disgusted, I threw away this translation and searched for the original at a used book shop.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty and timeless charm of this book will appealto all, 6 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Little Prince (The Anniversary Edition) (Paperback)
The magical quality of this book, and its ability to make us re-examine the way we view children makes this one of my favorite books. The Little prince seems to be a symbol of childhood innocence, especially in today's busy society. Antoine de Saint-Exupery's illustrations only add further magic to this beautiful book. A must read and treasure
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woods' timless, poetic translation captures the essential of Exupéry's story, 11 July 2010
By 
Allie Jones (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Little Prince (Hardcover)
Katherine Woods' simple and beautiful translation is the only one that does justice to The Little Prince (although one by Ros and Chloe Schwartz, 2010 would be good second copy). Published by Harcourt in 1943 and 1971, Wood's translation is the essential --- the translation loved and quoted by English-speaking people around the world, even by members of English- and French-speaking Canadian Parliament! But hers is OUT OF PRINT, so snatch up used copies while you may!

WARNING: there is a 'new translation' out by Richard Howard, and I accidentally got one. Ouch! His 'New' translation purges meaning, and is not worth the money. It gives a falseness to one of the most sincere stories ever written.

Howard's lacks beauty, and is at times unintelligible: It simply does not make sense. Since Howard has no apparent understanding of the truths expressed in The Little Prince, it is not to be wondered at. One important example says it all: The fox's 'secret' told to the little prince in parting ---

Wood's translation reads: 'It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.' She uses the beautiful rhetorical mode: 'What is essential...' Compare, if you know French, Antoine de Saint Exupéry's original French text: '...on ne voit bien qu'avec le caeur. L'essentiel est invsible pour les yeux.' 'L'essentiel' is in the same mode as is 'Les Misérables' -- neither translate exactly into English. 'Les Misérables' may be translated as 'The Miserable Ones,' with less poetic effect. Likewise, 'L'essentiel' might be rendered literally 'The essential things' or put in the rhetorical form 'What is essential...'

If Richard Howard wanted to make the statement 'clearer' it would have to read: 'That which is essential is invisible to the eye' --- wordy, and prosy, but it keeps the meaning. But Howard doesn't do that; his 'new' translation of the same line read: 'One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.' Huh? 'Anything essential is invisible to the eyes'? Far from expressing Antoine de Saint Exupéry's meaning, this generalization means, in effect, nothing. And it is obviously not true: Water is essential, and you can see it.

Katherine Woods' exquisite translation captures the essence of this line for the English reader. 'It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.' Quintessential, no line in the book is more important. It epitomizes her entire translation. It is ironic that, in translating The Little Prince, Howard should lose 'that which is essential,' and that he should be unable to 'see with his heart.' You can tell the difference between the two by the covers. Woods' shows the little prince on a white background; Howard's is on midnight blue. But check the ISBNs!

Amazon.com's Editorial Review on Howard's translation says that 'Katherine Woods sometimes wandered off the mark,

giving the text a slightly wooden or didactic accent. Happily, Richard Howard...has streamlined and simplified to wonderful effect.' This would have been better written thus:

'Katherine Woods uses poetic devices and a didactic accent to wonderful effect, capturing the essence and meaning of Antoine de Saint Exupéry's classic in a timeless translation. Unhappily and unfortunately, Richard Howard...has streamlined and simplified in a words-only translation, and he wanders off the mark, obscuring what were otherwise truths both simple and profound, giving the text a slightly wooden effect.'

To get the Katherine Woods' translation, make sure you are buying ISBN: 0-15-246507-3. As for Howard's translation, 'NEW' is not better; it's just 'new.' Woods' translation is the one I read, and helped me to understand why I grieved so when my great grandmother died. We'd spent so much time with her. And, as the fox says to the little prince in explaining why HIS rose is so important to him, 'It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.' It also helps me keep in mind what I'm doing with my time, and why. If I watch T.V. the most, then T.V. becomes the most important. If I pass time with my family, they become the most important.

Another always-to-be-remembered example of a passage from Woods' translation dealing with the interaction of the little prince and the fox. When the little prince has to say goodbye to the fox, the fox says, 'Ah, I shall cry.'

'It's your own fault,' said the little prince. 'I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you...'

'Yes, that is so,' said the fox.

'But now you are going to cry!' said the little prince.

'Yes, that is so,' said the fox.

'Then it has done you no good at all!'

'It has done me good,' said the fox, 'because of the color of the wheat fields.'

Before the little prince tamed the fox, the wheat field had 'nothing to say to' the fox. 'But,' he had said to the little prince, 'you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat...'

I used to dislike giant sunflowers. Then I discovered that someone I love like them very much. So we planted some and cared for them together. Now, when I see giant sunflowers, I remember him and my heart is happy. I understand. Because I read, and re-read, Wood's translation of The Little Prince since I was a child. It is as beautiful today as it was 40 years ago.

--------------

SOURCES:

Katherine Woods' superior translation: NY: Harvest/HBJ Book, Harcourt, 1971, pp. 83, 86, 87. (Katherine Wood's translation)

Richard Howard's inferior translation: 2 San Diego, CA: A Harvest Book, Harcourt Inc., 2000, p.63. Richard Howard's translation.

Original French by Antoine de Saint Exupéry: Le Petit Prince, NY: Harvest/HBJ Book, Harcourt, 1971, p. 87 (ISBN: 0-15-650300-X)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars small, cheap and tacky - very disappointing, 23 Sep 2010
By 
R. Mann "sdavenport" (austin, TX) - See all my reviews
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i am extremely disappointed with this 'collector's library' edition of the book. of course, the price should have suggested something to me about the quality, but it's printed on thin, cheap paper, and the illustrations are entirely in black and white.

there is little point in considering this edition of the book when numerous other editions (new and used) are readily available, and are infinitely better in quality and appearance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Little Prince, 20 Nov 2003
By 
Chris Tack (nr. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Little Prince (The Anniversary Edition) (Paperback)
I read this book in one sitting, and found myself re-reading some of the chapters before I put it down. More than just a book about the way a child views the the world, this book challenges how you choose to view the world, and asks you what makes you love. I would say this book should be compulsory reading for GCSE but it's nicer just to find it yourself. Buy it read...then have a quiet think!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love this little guy..., 2 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Little Prince (CD-ROM)
Some of the answers to life's most profound questions can be answered in this work of art. I have read this book so many times, each time holding a new meaning and discovery for me about life and love. It teaches us that the best way to live life is to view it through the eyes of a child...wonderful read, highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars disappointing that I can only rate 5 stars - it deserves 100, 20 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Little Prince (Hardcover)
To be able to see the sun set and rise more than ten times a day simply by moving your chair must be a wonderful feat. The little prince shows us in more ways that 100 that there are so many beautiiful things in the whole to see, that sometimes we as adults seem to forget about. It really is as simple as moving your chair. The little prince knows about love, or maybe he doesnt, but at least he isnt scared to love .... My favorite book ever. I read it when i start believing im a grown up .... Im buying it for my ... littl prince
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eternal fairy tale (fairy tale?!...), 11 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Little Prince (Hardcover)
How beautiful to read this ever touching story!
Also in languages different from yours...
A little island of serenity in the rough ocean of today life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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I am very happy with this purchase. Thank you!
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The Little Prince (The Anniversary Edition)
The Little Prince (The Anniversary Edition) by Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Paperback - 1 Sep 2000)
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