Today’s quote is longer than usual: it’s an excerpt from Flight to Arras, a novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and it captures the utter exhaustion of a squadron of French pilots during the German offensive on France in June 1940.
Like all Saint-Exupéry novels, Flight to Arras too was inspired by the author’s own experiences. Saint-Exupéry served in the French air force and continued to fight after the fall of France. He disappeared during a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean Sea in 1944; his identity bracelet was finally recovered from the sea in 1998. He’s the author of such classics as The Little Prince, Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars.
Quote of the Week:
The major went out, drawing Geley in his wake as if he were a dead fish on the end of a line. It was nearer a week than three days since Geley had been to bed. Like Alias, not only did he fly his sorties, but he carried part of the burden of responsibility for the Group. Human resistance has its limits: Geley seemed to have crossed his. Yet there they were, the swimmer and his burden, going off to the Staff for phantom orders.
Vezin, the sceptical Vezin, asleep on his feet, came teetering over to me like a somnambulist:
I had been lying back in an armchair (for I had found an armchair) and was indeed dropping off. But Vezin’s voice bothered me. What was it he had said? “Looks bad, old boy… Categorically blocked… Looks bad…”
“I… No… What looks bad?”
“The war,” he said.
That was news, now! I started to drop off again and murmured vaguely, “What war?”
This conversation wasn’t going to get very far.
More Saint-Exupéry Quotes: ⇒ Quote of the Week: A Crop of Golden Trajectories ⇒ Quote of the Week: Night