Did you wonder which rose it was that The Little Prince loved so?
We know it was a deep red and had thorns. Surely it was a hybrid tea. Most likely a French rose, possibly a Bourbon Rose, from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.
The Little Prince means many things to many people – and it did not seem strange to me that he would fall in love with a rose …
Today if he were in the garden I believe Oklahoma, with its deep mysterious burgundy color, a hybrid tea rose short-lived as a beauty, wrought with destruction around every corner in the Texas heat .. would be his rose.
Qui êtes-vous? leur demanda-t-il, stupéfait.
Nous sommes des roses, dirent les roses.
The little prince gazed at them. They all looked like his flower.
“Who are you?” he demanded, thunderstruck.
“We are roses,” the roses said.
And he was overcome with sadness. His flower had told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe. And here were five thousand of them, all alike, in one single garden!
“She would be very much annoyed,” he said to himself, “if she should see that . . . She would cough most dreadfully, and she would pretend that she was dying, to avoid being laughed at. And I should be obliged to pretend that I was nursing her back to life–for if I did not do that, to humble myself also, she would really allow herself to die. . .”
Then he went on with his reflections: “I thought that I was rich, with a flower that was unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose. A common rose, and three volcanoes that come up to my knees–and one of them perhaps extinct forever . . . That doesn’t make me a very great prince . . .”
And he lay down in the grass and cried.
Le Petit Prince – Chapter XX Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)
John Paul Sartre influenced St. Exupery. “Once thrown into the world, man is responsible for everything he does.”
The great man, who opened my eyes to John Paul Sartre was a professor. A University Committee voted to discontinue the pursuit of a doctoral degree of their student after ten years. John Locke was the only man on the Committee who voted against that choice — and yet the Committee left him to explain this to the young man.
The young man entered John Locke’s office, no longer in Old Main but relocated to a modern, efficient closet of an office, and shot John Locke in the heart and then shot himself.
To the Committee, each pretentious, pompous member, who made the cruel and fateful decision: Go Fuck Yourselves.