Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Le Petit Prince!

This was a present for my friend, Maddie. Even though I finished it weeks ago, I promised myself I'd sit on it until she got it so it couldn't be SPOILERED for her. I just gave it to her yesterday, so now I'm going to share it with you!

The photographs were hasty and don't quite do it justice, but it is a necklace themed around Le Petit Prince, one of my favorite books and one of Maddie's as well. (She has a tattoo of a snake eating an elephant, even!) It is obscenely popular here in South Korea, so finding related paraphernalia wasn't difficult. 

The charms, from left to right (if you are unfamiliar with the book):

A tag with a quote in the original French: On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ("One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.")

A fox, one of the principal characters.

"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..." 
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. 
"Please-- tame me!" he said.

A rose, another principal character/symbol. (Supposedly the relationship between the Prince and his rose was based on the relationship between de Saint-Exupery and his wife.) The rose is the impetus for the Prince's journey to Earth.

"I ought not to have listened to her," he confided to me one day. "One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace. This tale of claws, which disturbed me so much, should only have filled my heart with tenderness and pity." 
And he continued his confidences: 
"The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her... I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little strategems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her..."

A star. In the final scene of the book, the Prince makes a gift of the stars to the narrator:

"And at night you will look up at the stars. Where I live everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found. It is better, like that. My star will just be one of the stars, for you. And so you will love to watch all the stars in the heavens... they will all be your friends. And, besides, I am going to make you a present..."
"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You-- you alone-- will have the stars as no one else has them--" 
"What are you trying to say?" 
"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night... you-- only you-- will have stars that can laugh!"
If you've never read it, here is an online copy of The Little Prince, complete with the adorable original illustrations.

What book would you immortalize in a piece of jewelry?

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