Southern Mail

Saint-Exupery, Antoine de. Southern Mail. Translated by Curtis Cate. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1971.

Previously published as Courrier Sad, Southern Mail introduces us to love and loneliness. Bernis is a pilot caught in a tragic love affair. It complicates his entire psyche until he is in the air, delivering the mail. Flying is his true passion but it’s also where he feels the loneliest. Woven throughout the slim volume Saint-Exupery reveals a philosophical beauty about landscapes (lots of references to the ocean) as well as the people. But, much like Night Flight the emphasis is on the timely deliverance of the mail. Nowhere is that more apparent than at the very end of the story. While the plane had crashed and the pilot was lost they still managed to salvage the mail and it, if not the pilot, arrived on safely.

Quotes that had to be quoted, “Tonight, in a moment of fleeting rapture, she would seek out this weak shoulder and bury her face in this weak refuge, like some wild wounded creature preparing to die” (p 54-55), “Yet so cruel was his loneliness that he needed her terribly” (p 74), and “His heart would have melted from sadness and joy” (p 103).

Reason read: to continue the series started in March.

Author fact: Saint-Exupery died when he was 44 years old.

Book trivia: This is another short one – only 120 pages long.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Flying High Above the Clouds” (p 90).

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