Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Le Petit Prince: the Complete Text Online

I'm pleased to note that the complete text of Antoine de Saint Exupéry's marvelous children's book*, Le petit prince, is online in its entirety at a site called Wikilivres -- a web site hosted in Canada, which is why the book can be hosted at there: apparently the book is in the public domain up north. In addition to the French original, there are a number of translations of the book at the same site. Most relevant to my readers is probably The Little Prince (English -- the Katherine Woods translation). But there is also El Principito (Spanish), Der Kleine Prinz (German), and one that I'm guessing is Russian, although I can't really be sure.

Anyway, it's delightful, and I'm happy to see it online. Three cheers for the internet! (And a big raspberry for US copyright laws...)

(The above was via the Wikipedia article; from the same source, this site has detailed comparisons of the various English translations of the book's most famous passage (as well as of translations in Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese, which may or may not interest you...))

*Although some adults may be wise enough to understand it too.


Matthias said...

Stephen, if by some fluke you haven't yet read Hofstadter's Le Ton Beau de Marot, I strongly recommend it. It's a really interesting (if you can overlook the frequent Hofstadterisms), long, detailed book on translation at a level much like these examples from The Little Prince.

Stephen said...


I guess we're thinking along the same lines, since if you look just two posts down (to here) you'll see I just quoted a poem from it -- and myself recommended it -- less than a week ago.

To repeat myself from that post: "Thought provoking, delightful to read, and wrong on many topics, but in a way that is fun to argue with and which leads to a lot of great other books. So, with that caveat, I recommend it highly. (Can a book you think is fundamentally wrong in its central argument be one of your favorite books? If so, this is one of mine.)"


Matthias said...

So you did. I skimmed that entry and missed the reference. Synchronicity!