On [:] The gardener | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1939

The gardener | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1939
Antoine de Saint Exupéry playing the violin with his sisters

”When by mutation a new rose is born in a garden, all the gardeners rejoice. They isolate the rose, tend it, foster it. But there is no gardener for men. This little Mozart will be shaped like the rest by the common stamping machine. This little Mozart will love shoddy music in the stench of night dives. This little Mozart is condemned.

I went back to my sleeping car. I said to myself: Their fate causes these people no suffering. It is not an impulse to charity that has upset me like this. I am not weeping over an eternally open wound. Those who carry the wound do not feel it. It is the human race and not the individual that is wounded here, is outraged here. I do not believe in pity. What torments me tonight is the gardener’s point of view. What torments me is not this poverty to which after all a man can accustom himself as easily as to sloth. Generations of Orientals live in filth and love it. What torments me is not the humps nor hollows nor the ugliness. It is the sight, a little bit in all these men, of Mozart murdered.

Only the Spirit, if it breathe upon the clay, can create Man.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars / A memoir, 1939
tr. Lewis Galantiere


Book//mark – Wind, Sand and Stars | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1939
Ο μικρός Πρίγκιπας και το Ρόδο του | Antoine & Consuelo de Saint Exupéry, 1931-44

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