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Meyer, B.C. (1974). The Little Prince: Speculations on the Disappearance of Antoine De Saint-Exupéry. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:142-159.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:142-159

The Little Prince: Speculations on the Disappearance of Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

Bernard C. Meyer, M.D.


Evidence is presented in support of the hypothesis that the mysterious disappearance of this celebrated airman-poet was the ultimate expression of a leitmotif that is recurrently discernible throughout his life and writings. A major genetic factor determining the pursuit

of his unhappy destiny, it would seem, was the unaccounted-for death of his father when Saint-Exupéry was less than four years old, and the reinforcement of its traumatic effect by the death of his younger brother during his adolescence. The influence of these events upon his personal history and upon his creative, political, and religious thought is examined. Prominent themes in these several aspects of his life concern the quest for a powerful leader, a preoccupation with death, and a reiterated expression of personal suffering through guilt. There is some reason to believe that a fusion of these themes led to an identification of Saint-Exupéry with Christ, both in his own eyes and in those of some of his biographers.

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