Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Little Prince (graphic novel)

Joann Sfar
The Little Prince
Adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010

Full disclosure: I have not read «The Little Prince» by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

By and large it makes little sense to retell the plot of this book: those who wanted have read the book by Saint-Exupery long ago, and perfectly familiar with the plot, those who have not read, apparently, has never been interested in this book, and no longer interested. In short, the beginning of the story is about that: a military pilot whose plane breaks down makes the landing in the desert. The pilot smokes a cigarette, talking with the smoke from it in the form of a serpent, draws a hat, but insists that this is a snake swallowed an elephant. Then he repairs the plane, escapes from the sun in the shadow of an airplane wing, and at night sleeps there. In the middle of the night a boy with golden hair, huge blue eyes and long green scarf wakes up the pilot and asks the pilot who understands nothing to draw him a sheep.

Sfar in his adaptation uses the banned method: he often shows the little prince in close-up, so that in the page you see only huge blue eyes of the prince and stop paying attention to everything else. In them there are already gone childhood and childhood, which is always with you; thirst to know everything; understanding that there will be no better, but not worse, too; reflections of the non-existent worlds.
The Little Prince almost always looks at the sky, even if he looks at a drawing. When they with the pilot examine star map, the prince could not tell whence he came, he knows only that his planet is so small that it can not allow baobabs grow on it.
In space, there are flying ducks here, on planets there is enough space for only one person (of all episodic characters in this graphic novel the most memorable is the king with a long and strange-snag nose, he is very funny), the fox offers to be friends.

But we need to repair the plane and fly back to where there is not little prince, only soldiers, airplanes, adult life, but if today you are alone, it does not mean that tomorrow you will not meet the boy with the golden hair, who laughs and does not answer to questions. He just has not reached the Earth.

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