Saint-Exupery, Antoine de. 2003. Pangeran Kecil. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
|Indonesian version, published in 2003.|
(review in Indonesian, click here)
Why I read it in the first place?
I don’t know exactly when I noticed this book as a legend. In fact, until now I’m still not sure enough. Anyway, when I was at the beginning of high school, I was a nerdy already back then, I heard a lot about The Little Prince from some literature I’ve read at that time. Somehow, it made me jumped on conclusion that The Little Prince is a legendary book, it means a book freak like me simply must have it, so I bought it. I started questioning its legendary when people around me, which I thought were readers like me, didn’t familiar with The Little Prince. And I even became more hesitate after I’ve tried to read it. I couldn’t understand the book, like AT ALL. So, yeah, The Little Prince has been on my book collection since a loooong time ago. I read it again recently, ten years later after the first time I read it. I guess I understand it now, and I’ll try to review it below. And I even had my answer right from Exupery himself which I failed to notice years ago, about why I’m able to understand it now, when I’m a 23 year-old girl.
It’s not a children book. Although it’s a pretty thin book and full of somewhat-messy drawings, it is not a book for children. You might feel restless after reading The Little Prince, because I know I did. But, different people, different reaction. So, yeah.
The Little Prince is a book that reminds me of the story of Peter Pan. It’s nothing to do with Neverland nor pixie dust though. The similarity is on the character’s reluctance for being a grown up. And personally, since little kid I always have major envy toward this Peter dude. I mean, come on! He can be a kid like forever, he can be happy for no reason, he even has Tinkerbell! So unfair. Okay, focus. The Little Prince’s main character, however, is not the little prince himself. It would be the ‘I’ character, who as a kid had his own opinion about how much a boring person a grown up is.
In time, the ‘I’ character grew mature and became an aeroplane pilot. It is when he deserted in Sahara he met the little prince. This little prince is the only person who’s able to actually understand the ‘I’ character’s drawing, the one he drew once he was a little kid and he carried everywhere. The grown ups always misunderstanding his drawing, but not for the little prince. The little prince also has the same, if not more extreme, opinion about grown ups. But, even so, the ‘I’ character can’t fully comprehend this little prince, because he himself has became one of the grown ups too.
This book is recommended to adult reader for reasons. If a kid, like high-schooler me back then, try to read it, this kid may not able to grasp the idea of how imagination is replaced with rationality once someone grows up. And I’d say it’s a sad thing, because it really is inevitable. With its on way, the book, The Little Prince, slaps me in the face. What I learned from this book is leaned to ‘think wider and beyond’ instead of ‘act like a kid again’.
Wait, The Little Prince is more than that! Exupery also talks about the concept of love, friendship, and follow-your-heart thing. But, typical classic literature, all those lessons don’t come out as clear as day. These implied messages might not be caught by young readers. And because this book is full of implied messages, readers are bound to have different interpretation.
All in all, I guess The Little Prince is deserved to be in my personal legendary list, although honestly, its content is not THAT amazing or anything life-changing. But, the fact that this book is France literature (I only read very few France lit) and first published in 1943 (when World War II was in rage!) can earn some brownie points. Of course, we can’t forget that ALL the drawings we can find in The Little Prince came from Exupery own self. I LOVE this kind of book! You know? Books that are beautifully written with addition some drawings by its own author. So personal and talented. Perfect. Well, in this case, almost. Because, like I said before, it’s so typical classic literary. We can’t really sure what the writer implied behind those flowery and blurry passages. I guess I don’t really enjoy that kind of book.
After reading The Little Prince, I can say that it’s a beautiful book to read. As a matter of fact, in the end of the story, I felt tears in my eyes. Not because it’s sad or anything, but simply because I found it very beautiful. Have you ever feel something like that? However, this book didn’t make me feel ‘lost a friend’ like when I finished other spectacular writing, The Harry Potter series for example. But it got me wondered indeed. How are you now, little prince?
When I first read this book...