Antoine de Saint-Exupery and His Passion for Flying
Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pilot, author and poet. He was an adventurer who traveled the world via airplane and used his talent for writing to tell the stories of all the places he had been. In his memoir, Wind, Sand, and Stars, Saint-Exupery shares some of his many experiences through flying with Air France. There is a lot to be said about Wind, Sand, and Stars, but the most striking about the book is the beautiful imagery and narration Saint-Exupery uses that puts a whole new and exciting perspective in the world of aviation. The perspective he puts into Wind, Sand, and Stars is poetics as he talks about topics of the people who flew with, the differences of how things look when he is flying, and the many places he gets to experience through flying.
One thing that is obvious about Antoine de Saint-Exupery is that he feels a strong sentiment towards all the other pilots that he flew with. The way he talks about his fellow pilots and friends is poetic. One pilot that he feels a strong connection to is Guillaumet. In part two of Wind, Sand, and Stars he talks about Guillaumet.
“There exists a quality which is nameless. It may be gravity, but the word does not satisfy me, for the quality I have in mind can be accompanied by the most cheerful gaiety. It is the quality of the carpenter face to face with his block of wood. He handles it, he takes its measure. Far from treating it frivolously, he summons all his professional virtues to do it honor.” (Saint-Exupery p.28)
In this short paragraph, Saint-Exupery expresses a great respect for his friend in the most poetic way. He sees something in Guillaumet that he cannot put into words and so he tries to do so with an anecdote about a carpenter in their element. Saint-Exupery talks about a story the he read from someone else about a story of Guillaumet and does not feel the person who wrote it did Guillaumet the justice he deserves and chooses to tell his version of the story. The story was of a situation that brought Guillaumet to near death. After Guillaumet was brought home to recover Saint-Exupery describes the physical condition that Guillaumet was in. “You were dreadful to see, and you were in misery, for you had lost the beautiful tools of your works: Your hands were numb and useless, and when you sat up on the edge of your bed to draw a free breath, your frozen feet hung down like two dead weights.” (Saint-Exupery p.32) Saint-Exupery hated to see his friend in this condition and poetically describes his hand and feet as “beautiful tools” as if they were not just ordinary hands and feet, but tools that he used to perfect the craft of flying. Saint-Exupery felt a strong bond between himself and Guillaumet and throughout his life he met more pilots that he had become bonded to. This is apparent through the strong words he uses when he writes about these other pilots.
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Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pilot, author and poet. He was an adventurer who traveled the world via airplane and used his talent for writing to tell the stories of […]