Thursday, May 20, 2010

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | The Little Prince | 1943

Dear Lamplighter,

You're supposed to be a hero. You started out with this easy job, which was lighting the single lamp on your planet in the morning and then extinguishing it at night. Then your planet began to spin faster and you found that to perform your duty you had to work harder. Then your planet began to spin even faster and your labors became frantic. You had no time left to yourself. The Little Prince was admiring of you because you think of others, and sacrifice yourself, and then he was (to my mind condescendingly) sad to leave your planet because it was "blest with 1440 sunsets every day."

But here's what I don't get. You have what seems like a short conversation with the Little Prince. You say seven sentences to him and he says seven to you. Then you say that thirty minutes has passed since you began speaking. Thirty minutes? How slow do you talk?

Trying to keep calm,