Friday, October 8, 2010

blogtober day 8 - the book post

I was thinking yesterday, about why I liked using words like "ephemeral", and I started wondering when I first learned and used the word (yeah, I really like words, always have, and I'm not even a teacher / writer / journalist / librarian). I'm not completely sure, but it could be because of this book.

I got this book from my Grade 5 teacher - see, he even wrote me a message. He was one of my favourite teachers - for that year of school, I felt that being one of the "smart ones" was a good thing, and not something to hide. He showed us that there were different ways of doing things - we went on school camp in the city (we lived in a country town, and normally went on camp in other country areas), and met dancers from the Australian Dance Theatre, had break dancing lessons, and visited art galleries.

Anyway, back to the book. This is not an easy book to summarise (if you want to learn about it, try here), but it is a sweet, slightly sad book that for me is about seeing the world through a different perspective - a more child like perspective.

The little prince learns the word "ephemeral" when meets a geographer, and tells him about the rose who lives on his planet. He is told the rose is not important, because it is ephemeral - "in danger of speedy disappearance."He then comes across a garden full of roses, and feels embarrassed that he thought his rose was unique and special. Near the end of his journey on earth, he learns that his rose is unique and important.

"In herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered under the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose."

My original copy is well loved, with many a page falling out, so along the way, I've gained some replacements - I just didn't know how many until today's photo shoot! Interestingly, they are all different translations (it was originally written in French). My original copy is the original English translation from the 1940s. The other, more recent translations have apparently "fixed" the mistakes in the original, but I struggle to read them, only wanting to read what I think the words should be from my memory... like my daughter when I accidently miss or substitute a word in a favourite story book.

Maybe I'll need to learn French at more than a "please" and "thank you" level so I can read the original and decide for myself!


Make mine Mid-Century said...

Oh, that's your best post! I've never read The Little Prince. And I should because it's one of those classics.

I like to think that every child has one (non-parental) person in their life that makes them feel special, at one significant moment. Even a small gesture, such as giving someone a thoughtfully chosen book, makes a marked impression and helps shape that child into the adult they become.

I hope that makes sense.

teddybearswednesday said...

I too love this post, and have not read it either ( the little Prince)
It sounds like the most gorgeous book. An absolute must.
thanks for sharing this little bit of you xo

zigsma said...

Lovely - a great teacher makes up for all the useless ones.

Have you seen this:

The blog is a delight!