Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: the famous French dreamer


When we hear the name of this talented French author, we immediately imagine a touching picture of a small solitary creature. But how many of us have explored the depth of Exupéry’s philosophic thought and the charm of his numerous literary works?

Le livre français ‘Le Petit Prince’ is an introduction to the wonderful world of the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944).


‘The Little Prince’ was translated into over 250 languages and dialects, and may be among the top selling books.¹ But even if it is tied as the top selling book in the world, it’s just the tip of the iceberg of Exupery’s creations.

The fascinating life of the French writer


To discover Saint-Exupéry’s world we must begin with his biography.

“He was a successful commercial pilot before World War II, working airmail routes in Europe, Africa and South America. At the outbreak of war he joined the French Air Force, flying reconnaissance missions until France’s armistice with Germany in 1940.”²

The majority of his literary works are devoted to the heroic deeds and greatness of spirit of the military and civil pilots of his time.

Saint-Exupéry disappeared over the Mediterranean on his last assigned reconnaissance mission in July 1944, and is believed to have died at that time. Years later, in 1998, the metal bracelet of Saint-Exupéry was found in the Caribbean islands.

French aviator, dreamer, philosopher


The literary creations of the French aviator can be deservedly called outstanding. As a proof to our statement we can mention ‘Terre des hommes’ written in 1939.

“This philosophical memoir became the name of a major international humanitarian group, and was also used to create the central theme (Terre des hommes – Man and His World) of the most successful world’s fair of the 20th century, Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada.”³

The French author who creates a fortress in a human’s heart

The culmination of Saint-Exupéry’s humanistic theory and literary vocation is the ‘Citadelle’ (‘Wisdom of the Sands’) which was published posthumously. ‘Citadelle’, which contains more than 700 pages, appeared like a notebook of drafts that was carried by the French pilot wherever he travelled and was completed daily.

Although ‘Citadelle’ was never concluded by the author, it came to French readers in 1948 in an editor’s version.

In this philosophical creation, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry summed up his ideas on all the moral and spiritual questions. ‘Citadelle‘ is considered by many literary critics to be the most profound humanistic piece of art of the 20th  century.

Maybe you too could try to enter into the magic Citadelle of the Little Prince’s creator?

1. What are the top selling books of all time? : on Wise Geek blog
2. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry : on The James Logan Courier, 29/06/12
3. Happy Birthday Antoine de Saint-Exupéry! : Tripurari Kumar Sharma, Being Poet Blog, 29/06/12

Image credits:
1. Saint-Exupéry, on Incarnation
2. French Aviator, on Essas E Outras
3. Bracelet, on Wikipedia

About the Contributor

Christina Lutsik

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  1. Celine Mangiardi Aug 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM - Reply

    In France, at school or at home, we all heard about ‘Le Petit Prince’ but never about ‘La Citadelle’. I should have a look to this book 🙂 Thanks for this tips!

  2. Christina Lutsik Aug 23, 2012 at 8:21 PM - Reply

    Dear Celine, I’m very happy that this information was useful, I really advice you ‘La Citadelle’. You can open it in any page you want and it will always make sence and give you some answer… 🙂

  3. Celine Mangiardi Aug 23, 2012 at 8:31 PM - Reply

    Thank you 🙂
    I will!

  4. Christina Lutsik Aug 23, 2012 at 8:42 PM - Reply


  5. Sophie Dugourd Aug 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM - Reply

    I’ve never heard about ‘La citadelle’, but I look forward to reading the book now ! Thanks Christina !

  6. Christina Lutsik Aug 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM - Reply

    You are very welcome, Sophie. If you like it and if you have some questions or ideas to discuss, please, write me, it would be a pleasure for me 😉

  7. Charles Trégouët Aug 28, 2012 at 4:37 PM - Reply

    “S’il te plaît…dessine-moi un mouton!”. Best quote ever from Le Petit Prince!

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