Did Antoine de St. Exupéry write this?

For a long time, my signature read: I must leave this planet, if only for an hour.

I attributed this to Antoine de St. Exupéry, and I was sure I read it in Wartime Writings; but last time I skimmed the book, I was unable to find it. A google search turns up old posts where I use it as my signature, and someone else that was using it for her signature. I can’t find an attribution.

Can someone verify that ‘St. Ex’ wrote this; and if so, where? Or else, can someone tell me who did write it?

Moved to Cafe Society.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

I thought it was from The Little Prince.

I recall checking a while back, and didn’t find it in The Little Prince. I’ve just done a ‘find’ on a .pdf document and the phrase does not turn up there.

I found this in a light-hearted story about a balloon ride: http://books.google.com/books?id=LXEAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA528&dq=planet+"if+only+for+an+hour."&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zRUGUf73FcuMyAGak4C4Bg&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=planet%20"if%20only%20for%20an%20hour."&f=false

from Bentley’s Miscellany, Volume 30 By Charles Dickens, William Harrison Ainsworth, Albert Smith

Close, but I’m sure I read it as I quoted – at least the leaving the planet part.

I’m looking for a cite – I remember the line, but I’m thinking it was, “I must leave this earth” – but I’m not finding that either.

In the meantime, let me recommend a fine somewhat related movie available streaming on Netflix. It’s about Sigfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, famed WWI poets, and how Sassoon was “treated” once he began speaking out against the war. It’s called Behind the Lines.

When I look at past recollections of these things, it is clear to me that our minds just jumbles or simplifies what was seen, heard or read, there are also cases where nice lines are turned into memorable ones by clarifying a quote by adding more context or better words.

It is IMHO like “Play it again Sam”, never mentioned in the movie Casablanca, but it is more memorable than “Play it!” Or “Play it Sam”, what is missing is that bit of context that makes it more memorable.

I see then:

“I would take a flight, if only for an hour, from this grovelling world”

As a likely origin.

I dunno about you, but I think my memory was garbling the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee.

True. I was positive I remembered some lyrics correctly a couple of years ago. I was close, but not exact.

The thing of it is, it is the ‘I must leave this planet’ that made the impression on me. Could I be misremembering? Certainly. But I’m sure that was it. As sure as I was with those lyrics. :wink:

I know it from your sig line. Maybe it’s a line inspired by The Little Prince.

Well if I made it up myself, it’s a good one! :smiley:

I just scanned through The Little Prince, and didn’t find it either. That said, it sounds awfully like it *should *be in The Little Prince, with its abundant planets and abundant comings and goings. Maybe it’s from the apocrypha.

Maybe it was Gherman Titov.

Sorry, it was the only flight I could find that came close to being an hour long.

What, there was something else by the author that anybody remembers??:confused:

I always remember the Magee line as “I slapped the surly face of God,” which I know is wrong, but I like my version better.