More than 100 years ago, on June 29, 1900, Antoine de Saint Exupéry was born in Lyon, France. The famous author of The Little Prince, was destined to create bonds of affection, inspiration and love with Argentina, and in particular with our Patagonia.

Saint Exupéry is one of the famous writers and travelers who have traveled and reflected in his work this portion of the American continent. We want to remember a small portion of his life, the one that links him to this region, so far from his native France, but so close in his affections, his letters and his books.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry arrived in Argentina on October 12, 1929 and returned to France on February 1, 1931. He had, upon arrival, twenty-nine years old. Here he was strengthened in his obsessions: flying and writing. He contributed decisively to the development of Argentine civil aviation. He wrote a novel. He knew and fell in love with the woman who would accompany him to the end, in the good and the bad, in the exalted passion and in mutual destruction. That woman was the inspiring prince. Yes, she is “La Rosa”.

Saint-Exupéry began hating Buenos Aires and Argentines in general. A resquee that the city shared with Paris, with New York and with other cities where he also lived. It is that, as Blas Matamoro points out, Saint Exupéry did not like cities nor, in fact, no part of the world where he should land. He loved, on the other hand, “the landscapes he saw from afar, like the desert, the sea or the mountain range. Intimately, he considered himself an alien to the planet, a stroller of another star …”. It’s true. But it is also true that that corner was dissolving over time and, when he touched him down to this earth, he did it with his eyes wide open, faithful to the slogan that he gave himself: “Look at the cathedral that dwellings.” He held many hands. He was loved, left footprint. And, from him, he reconciled himself with the Argentine experience of him. And he longed for her, even in the most arduous moments of his terrible end.

That experience was brief, but in it everything was brief, starting with his life, which only extended for forty-four years. However, that intense Argentine time summarizes his life. He was, on this earth, pilot, writer, lover. Sometimes it happens that someone’s fate condenses in a single moment, the one in which he knows forever who he is. This happened to Saint-Exupéry at the Argentine moment, although he has lasted just over a year.

Saint-Exupéry was tall but very robust, on the verge of fatness, was something awkward in his movements, as well as socially shy and quite neuthenic. Rufino Luro Campersres, a pilot who was his friend, thus portrayed him: “Wide of his back, his arms hanging along the body, with a walk whose march was undulating, he resembled a bear.” Little graceful, already at twenty-nine years, his hair fell. He had something infant on his face. Although it was not misogyn, it was not very successful in the loving field, and awaited him in Buenos Aires a long affective loneliness, only relieved by tariff relationships, to which he had easy access because the airline was paid very well for which he worked. Finally, life rewarded him and he left the city porteña with a good harvest in this field. With woman and in love.

Saint-Exupéry, when arriving in Buenos Aires, was an unknown aviator, with a firm literary vocation, auspicious but still scarce in results. After some attempts at magazines, and with the support of some literary figuron, he had published a first book entitled Courrier Sud (Southern Mail), in the prestigious Gallimard publishing house. Aristocrat Something tronad, he came to Buenos Aires under Aéropostale contract, a private French company that tried to stay with a great business of the first post-war: air mail. Is that, after the first global conflagration (1914-1918) in which aviation was used as a warboard, the world was full of aircraft, of aircraft factories, engineers and pilots available so that air transport was disseminated in Each corner of the earth.

When Antoine de Saint-Exupéry embarks for Buenos Aires, he has several challenges before them. First, like every man or woman of thirty years, he must begin to build his life. He loads with a backpack of family and social conflicts. During the fifteen months he will pass in Argentina, Saint-Exupéry is going to challenge himself. He is a son of a viscount. The family of him, although come unless, has a lineage that goes back to the Middle Ages. Saint Exupéry’s decision, who will keep his life on him, is to turn his back on that determinism, but without him not suppose to break with his family, to which he will remain united through the bond with his mother , indestructible, although at times conflicting. To his mother, in one of her letters, forbid him to write on the envelopes, preceding the name of him, the word “ear”. From the day he pisa Buenos Aires the only barracks he accepts are the air.

The second challenge is to fly, something that was still a challenge, especially to the law of gravity. States and companies sought to exploit technical advances in aviation by integrating them into the daily universe of millions of people, first through the transport of correspondence, then that of persons. Aviation was born in the world as a sports activity. Then he became a war element. And at the end of the contest, the plane trip would be the great means of communication and transportation.

In that context, Saint-Exupéry was going to prefer a role over and over again: the pilot, not the organizer or manager, although sometimes he had to replace the cockpit on the desk. Assuming as a pilot, he also did it as a writer. He will write about him, that he will not split from him, making the first the channel to be linked to the world. Saint-Exupéry chose to be a pilot who writes. Thus in each of the four hundred and fifty nights he spent in Argentina, and all the remaining ones who were left for life, he leaned over him or his blank sheet and wrote.

Finally, he accepted another challenge. He did not know anything about the country to which he arrived. And he left him without knowing too much, but, in some way, knowing more than others. He met him in the risky, irregular and harsh way with which he is best known someone or something: loving. That is why he was able to write a long time later, when the passions had calmed down, that the months he spent in Argentina had been the best of his life.

This text is included in the new book “Look at the Cathedral that lives”, from Álvaro Abós (South American).

Love for the animals

In the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry the animals were part of the predilect environment of him: they were since very child and also in full adulthood. Both in the Sahara and in Buenos Aires, a small zoo was armed.

In one of him to the south, he captures a small seal that leads to the department of him in the center of the city and tells him to his mother in a letter. He places it in the bathtub and transforms it into his favorite pet.

He also had a boar and a penguin at General Pacheco’s aerodrome, airplanes field of aircraft on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. When Saint-Exupéry returned from him, the animals recognized him and approached him without problems. In a photo taken in Concordia, Antoine is seen with a ferret in his hand. And as of Argentina he takes a puppy of Puma.

Later, his wife consolation will affirm in a report that very often Saint-Exupéry brought him gift animals (birds, monkeys, etc.) This love for animals will be reflected years later when he writes his most famous book, “The Little Prince “, where it is assigned a fundamental role in the story plot.