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By Alyson Richman

A richly imagined tale of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French pilot and writer of The Little Prince, from the writer of The misplaced spouse and The backyard of Letters.

March, 1942: Declared medically undeserving to fly whereas France is beseiged through struggle, Saint-Exupéry languishes in homesick frustration, not able to help his country—and not able to write down. whereas his writer attempts in useless to ease the author's brain, Saint-Exupéry meets the spell binding Silvia Hamilton at a dinner party. although they don't percentage a language, they're still attracted to one another, and the place phrases fail them they locate different kinds of communication.

In the continuing months, Silvia's heat and style supply Saint-Exupéry the assurance he so desperately wishes. And as their love affair prospers, he reveals himself encouraged to inform a story of such simplicity and wonder individual of any age may well locate pleasure and luxury in it. With Silvia as his muse, he works furiously to compose his petite prince.

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Cela n’était pas facile, mais il semblait alors tout naturel d’apprendre par cœur des tas de nombres, des constantes physico-chimiques et des astuces de calcul dont les fondements arithmétiques étaient parfois fort complexes. C’était le temps où les méthodes de calcul mental faisaient florès, et où des poètes s’échinaient à versifier le nombre pi. Cet art de l’approximation est maintenant disparu. Les calculettes et les programmes d’ordinateur effectuent très rapidement des calculs exacts, et cela est bon.

L’estude des livres, c’est un mouvement languissant et foible qui n’eschauffe point ; là où la conférence apprend et exerce en un coup. Essais, III, VIII √ Corvées À une époque qui n’est pas si éloignée de la nôtre, les professionnels des sciences et des technologies passaient un temps proprement incalculable à effectuer des tâches triviales comme dessiner une projection axonométrique, fabriquer un modèle de structure moléculaire, analyser un spectre de rayons X, calculer un polynôme de degré élevé, additionner des colonnes de chiffres, tracer une courbe complexe, etc.

Cela est vrai, mais il est également vrai que, lorsque l’on en a besoin, le livre est souvent bien loin. Ajoutons que les autres hommes nous jugent à la vitesse de l’éclair, qu’ils nous qualifient d’intelligents pour avoir utilisé, au bon moment, une méthode de résolution de problème, et d’érudits pour avoir été capables de citer, au pied levé, un passage d’un livre. Cette admiration est-elle sincère? Pas toujours! Chez les ambitieux, elle sert de masque à un jugement sans appel et à quelque secrète condamnation.

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