The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
"It is such a secret place, the land of tears."
One of my favourite tumblrs in all the wide world is The Word Made Flesh, a place where people can show off their literary tattoos and make me feel all jealous and also cowardly. Which, I've just realised, makes it sound like a BAD tumblr, but actually, it's clearly awesome. Anyway, the point is that on said tumblr, I have seen many many many tattoos inspired by The Little Prince, (they're third only to people getting the infinite quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and 'I am, I am, I am' from The Bell Jar) I think ostensibly because, you know, it has pictures, but also, as I've discovered, it's kind of wonderful.
The Little Prince is kind of a children's book, but I think it's more important for adults to read it. It's an attempt to grasp at the things that are really important in life, to try and recapture the way you see the world as a child and to not just become the same as everyone else, pretending to like the same boring things that they do. And aside from all that, it's also a really good story- a sad one, but one that lingers after you've finished, making you kind of sad and kind of happy all over again.
I know for a fact that I'll be reading this again, a lot, hopefully throughout my life so that if I ever start thinking too much like a grown up, I'll have this to pull me back up to seeing the world in a, not exactly innocent, but a much kinder and I think sensible way. You should probably do the same so that we can stay friends.
"Grown ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, 'What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?' Instead, they demand: 'How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?' Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him."The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton
Here's one thing I can talk about with it though. On the back, as with, you know, basically all books, there are blurbs from various reviews, all of which say some variation of 'Tim Burton has tapped into his childhood as an outsider to write this book and that's why it's good and important' etc etc. And the thing is... Yeah, basically all of his characters are odd in some way, and they don't fit in to 'normal society' and Oyster Boy, in fact, was born to two human parents who (SPOILER) end up eating him, which is like the ultimate rejection by your parents, I think; BUT it's a lot more funny than sad, and I think going on about the outcast thing is a bit too much of an easy explanation for the twisted things that have come out of Burton's mind and onto the page.
Incidentally, I've just thought of a link between the two of these books in their acting against the way society says and feeling outcast because of it and BAM look at the coherence of my post now! Yeah! You weren't expecting THAT, were you?!