Citadelle by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Citadelle-by-Antoine-de-Saint-ExuperyWhat distinguishes creativity from genius? Creativity is a pinch of talent and hard work. The genius is the same, multiplied by the globality of thought. Beyond, the scale of attitude. Geniuses often have projects that remain unfinished. Not from laziness or lack of resources, and from trying to grasp the immensity. (Remember Gaudi with his Sagrada Familia) the Story of Saint-Exupery’s “Citadelle” is one of those works.

Between the idea of the book and work on it is five years, the echoes of this story is in “the Little Prince”, and in other works of Saint-Exupery. The Book “Citadelle” is not finished, drafts and sketches was disassembled and published after the author’s death.

This is not a novel in the strict sense, but a collection of philosophical parables. The narrative comes from the ruler of the nomads to son. But pretty quickly it becomes clear that the ruler – a guide to the universal wisdom, and the son is the people, the world, everyone who wants to stop thinking.

What is this “universal wisdom”? What says the king? About the simple things. Very complicated simple things. Mercy. Faith. War. About the art to manage. About beauty and craftsmanship. About the family. Religion. Time. Stupidity and uniqueness. About love. It’s amazing how compact (and unfinished!) the work, the author of everything.

About “Citadelle” is difficult to say. It and read is not easy. Interesting, Yes, but not easily. There are no intricacies of plot, vivid characters, events, dialogues. Language books – viscous, slowly, grandiose even, like reading a long prose poem. It is impossible to convey its meaning, even to hint. Except to open the book to a random page and quote.

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