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The Little Prince

中文名:
小王子
作者:
安東尼·德·圣-埃克蘇佩里 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
類型:
兒童讀物
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小王子(The Little Prince)簡介:

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》小說敘述者是個飛行員,他在故事一開始告訴讀者,他在大人世界找不到一個說話投機的人,因為大人都太講實際了。接著,飛行員講了六年前他因飛機故障迫降在撒哈拉沙漠遇見小王子故事。神秘的小王子來自另一個星球。飛行員講了小王子和他的玫瑰的故事。小王子為什么離開自己的星球;在抵達地球之前,他又訪問過哪些星球。他轉述了小王子對六個星球的歷險,他遇見了國王、愛虛榮的人、酒鬼、商人、點燈人、地理學家、蛇、三枚花瓣的沙漠花、玫瑰園、扳道工、商販、狐貍以及我們的敘述者飛行員本人。飛行員和小王子在沙漠中共同擁有過一段極為珍貴的友誼。當小王子離開地球時,飛行員非常悲傷。他一直非常懷念他們共度的時光......
《小王于》曾是法國最著名的書,也是全世界最令人喜愛的書,現在仍是!盡管這本法國人寫的童話于1943年在美國首次出版,而法國人卻只愿意記得它的法國出版日——1946年4月。2006年4月,法國人高調為它過了60歲大壽,他們用法語向全球宣布:《小王子》剛滿60周歲!那就讓我們尊重驕傲的法國人的意愿,再紀念一次《小王子》誕生60周年吧!根據《小壬子》官方網站公布的最新數據,此書在全世界己銷售8000萬冊,僅在法國的銷量就達1100萬冊。它已被譯成160余種語言,中文版本估計有上百種之多。幾年前,法國人毫不吝嗇地將“20世紀最佳潔語圖書”的桂冠授予了《小王子》,《追憶似水年華》等一連串偉大的現代文學經典也只能排名其后。

安東尼·德·圣-埃克蘇佩里的作品

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