12th March 2012

“Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

“Here is my secret. It is very simple: one only sees well with one’s heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”

Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Le Petit Prince

Le Petit Prince is one of my favourite things to read in French. It is essentially a children’s book, but one that contains underlying philosophical ideas and meanings. This quote underlines the idea that what is truly important – whether in life, in a person, in a book or a story – it is seen by your heart and the feelings and sentiments that are evoked by it. To use a cliché, you could say that the contents of a book and not its cover are what defines that book. Inner beauty is what people will always remember in place of outer beauty. Saint Exupéry puts across these sorts of ideas by drawing an analogy to a flower in his book; a simple device for a simple, but true, message.

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