‘Wind, Sand and Stars’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

‘I’m In Two Minds’

Score: 4/5

I came to this book not knowing anything about its background, or even really what it was about. (I still don’t know the background. If you want something well researched you’re in the wrong place.)

I suppose I’d describe it as personal philosophical musings. I don’t know if that’s a real category or not (’Hello, can I speak to Mr. Dewey please?’) but it’ll do.

Anyway, some of the musings are beautiful, some are prophetic, and some are a bit disconcerting. Rather than dwell on the bits I didn’t enjoy, here’s a passage I found both beautiful and prophetic:

‘If we believe that machines are ruining mankind, it may be that we are lacking a little in distance and cannot judge the effects of transformations as rapid as those that we have undergone. What are the hundred years of mechanical history when set against the two hundred thousand years of the history of man? We have scarcely begun to settle in this landscape of mines and power stations. Our life in this modern house has only just begun, and the house is not yet even complete. Everything has changed so rapidly all around us: human relationships, working conditions, social customs. Our very psychology has been rocked on its most intimate foundations. The words denoting separation, absence, distance and return remain the same, but the ideas reflect a different reality. To grasp the world of today we are using a language made for the world of yesterday. And the life of the past seems a better reflection of our nature, for the simple reason that it is a better reflection of our language.’

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