I learned the story from within, it was my aunt Consuelo De Saint-Exupery, an extraordinary person and the inspiration of Saint-Ex, the Rose of his story, who taught me to read, not only French in The Little Prince, but the essence of it as well. She talked to me about Saint-Ex, his dream world, of his airplane flights, of his moonstruck reveries, his airplane falls and the spirit that helped him survive them! Everything in that book was an integral part of what later happened to me and helped me to find that secret that now illumines my life.
I remember. . . when I was a little girl, maybe six years old, I learned to read. . . know. . . and love the Little Prince. Later on, I learned that many others also did; it was, I believe, the bedside book of James Dean. I never knew him personally, but I read in an interview of a movie magazine that he said The Little Prince was his Bible. . . and I wondered if what drew him to it was the same thing that I loved about it? What I loved best was the invisible hidden in between such simple words and its childlike drawings, for concealed behind the fairytale there was a road map to a true spiritual experience.
Whenever I read the last page of my uncle's book, I was moved by his sadness and felt a sense of urgency within me to find that lonely star landscape. So, I promised myself that one day I would find the Little Prince and let Saint-Ex know that he was back. Consequently, since early in life, I learned to close my eyes, open my heart and. . . began my quest. This tale is the fruit of my search. It has a happy ending as all good fairy tales have, for it happened that one day. . . when I least expected it. . . I found the Little Prince!
Thus, I wrote this book, both as a direct answer to my uncle's plea, to share the good news with all those who love The Little Prince and as an invitation to quest to all those who long to find their reality.
I have followed the same format of my uncle's book and also utilized the same style of drawings, wrapping my own story of how I searched and found the Little Prince with as much similarity as possible to that of his book, for a very good reason: I couldn't have done it in any other way, for I have loved The Little Prince since I was a child. My reason has been one of love, not arrogance, so please exempt me from the harshness of comparison if you are inclined to do so.
A few of the topics covered in this volume: oral narration in contemporary society; madness and cure in the 1001 Nights; the female voice in folklore and fairy tale; change in narrative form; tests, tasks, and trials in the Grimms' fairy tales; and folklorists as agents of nationalism. The subject of methodology is discussed by Torborg Lundell, Stven Swann Jones, Hans-Jorg Uther, and Anna Tavis.