Seventy-four years ago, on April 6, 1943 the first edition of The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry saw the world. Think about it, nineteen-fourth-three, the world’s darkest hour. Europe is ravaged by war, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, once the most celebrated pilot of France, its finest writer, its most desired man, lives in exile in America. His best friend, Leon Werth, a Jew, is hiding somewhere in occupied France.
It always amazed me that the most beautiful artworks seems to always be created by the most broken of people. How the best is born in the worst times. How one doesn’t not need to be happy to be inspired.
Many years ago a friend, knowing my infatuation with The Little Prince, sent me a beautiful Korean edition of the tale with illustrations by Min Ji Kim. This started a collection of new books and old books, rare books and ordinary pocket books, books that tell the same story in different languages.
Korean translation. Illustrator: Min Ji Kim
Standard French edition of Le Petit Prince, Spanish edition from Cuba and well-used German edition that my best friend found in a tiny shop in Berlin.
The Russian edition of The Little Prince with mesmerizing illustrations by Nika Goltz:
Hebrew edition of The Little Prince found in an antique book store in Jerusalem by a dear friend
The Little Prince in Hebrew and in Arabic
Finally, Ukrainians are lucky to have two magnificent editions of The Little Prince. The most recent one is illustrated by Ganna Silivonchyk
And the already-classic illustrated by Vladislav Yerko
To the children that we once were.