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Today, we discussed the first 3 items on the list of sections from St Exupery’s “Wind, Sand and Stars” (see the previous blog entry to read the entire list)
- Guillaumet lost in the Andes – chapter II, section II, page 30-40 (end of chapter II)
- Chapter IV (pages 48-62) – the cyclone
- Chapter V, section II, pages 68-74 (end of chapter V) – night in the Sahara
We had some difficulty understanding section 3.
Update: After reading section 3 again, the key seems to be the last paragraph on page 71. He is remembering a house he lived in when he was a child. For some strange reason, the memory of this house becomes very strong to him while he is lying on the sand of the Sahara night. He realizes that his existence, his meaning, is not just the present (Sahara), but also his past. When he was a child, he liked to tease his old nurse (“Mademoiselle”): she was so domestic and domesticated, while he enjoyed being a rough, wild boy. But now he realizes that it was not only his wild rough, boyish adventures that created his personality, his character: it was also the house and the quiet, solid, domestic routines that formed his character and are still a vital part of him, perhaps even more solid and important than his present Saharan adventure.
I think this is what he means by “But that night in the Sahara, naked between the sand and the stars, I did her justice.” In other words, he finally discovered a reason to respect that domestic and tame Mademoiselle.
What do you think? Any other, different interpretations?
The next session will be on Wednesday April 27th. If this is inconvenient, please let me know. I plan to continue reading “Wind, Sand and Stars”, continuing down the list of sections.