July 07, 2016

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Press Pass for the Spanish Civil War Found



In the 1930s, European writers who believed in the possibility of a revolution came to Spain, where the leftist republican fighters were fighting against Franco’s Nationalists. Among the famous correspondents—Ernest Hemingway was covering the war for American newspapers, George Orwell joined the republican army to see the war firsthand—was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - above.

Saint-Exupéry had not yet written The Little Prince, but he had gained some literary fame for his accounts of his adventures in aviation. In 1937, he was working for Paris-Soir, a French newspaper, to cover the war. He was 36.

In June, the Guardian reports, Saint-Exupéry’s press pass, issued by the propaganda bureau for the republican side of the war, turned up for the first time in decades. It had not been stored with the press documents of other luminary journalists; Polisario Sánchez, an amateur historian, found it in a small village in Toledo while he was researching civil war cinema.

The pass reveals a few details of Saint-Exupéry's stint as a war correspondent. He identified himself not just as a writer, but also an aviator. Like many of war correspondents, he stayed at Madrid's Hotel Florida.

At one key moment, though, Saint-Exupéry left this document behind. As Maria Popova writes at Brain Pickings, he was once apprehended by rebel forces, who wanted to see his identity documents. He had left them at his hotel. Turned out, he didn't need them, though:

As one of my guards was smoking, I asked him, by gesture, showing the vestige of a smile, if he would give me one. The man first stretched himself, slowly passed his hand across his brow, raised his eyes, no longer to my tie but to my face, and, to my great astonishment, he also attempted a smile. It was like the dawning of the day.

By Sarah Laskow

With many thanks to Atlas Obscura

These quotes from BBC Culture:


And now an animated feature has been made of this classic book.


A Look at a Legend: James Dean

The Leicester Codex sale price.

World’s Most Expensive Printed Book - “The Bay Psalm Book” - Sells For $14.2 mn 

Rorke's Drift: Rare Account Of Zulu Battle Written The Day After Sells For £15k

 Rare Copy of Old Testament Reunited With 'Twin' in Israel

Shakespeare First Folio discovered In French Library

Original Magna Carta Copy Found In Sandwich Archive

Scribbled Draft Lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” Sells for Record $2 Million 

'American Pie' Lyrics Sell For $1.2 million In New York

 Beatles’ First Recording Contract to Be Auctioned For An Estimated $150,000 

Alan Turing Manuscript Sells For $1 million 

Shakespeare’s World Revealed In 400-year-old Handwriting

William Shakespeare Folios Net $3.6 Million At Christie’s

Letter From Paul McCartney To Prince Sells For $15K

The Voynich Manuscript: World's Most Mysterious Manuscript To Be Released
More on Literature: 

 'The Great Gatsby': Seven Life Lessons
Shakespeare First Folio found on Scottish Isle of Bute
The Musketeers
Mysterious 'Man in the Iron Mask' Revealed
Father Of Anne Frank Listed As Co-Author Of Diary To Extend Copyright
William Shakespeare is still a relevant literary voice.
Queen Marks Magna Carta Anniversary
Superheroes Of The Ancient World 

Palace Found At Tintagel, Fabled Birthplace Of King Arthur 
Ancient Egyptian Works To Be Published Together In English For The First Time
Who Was Cleopatra? 
The Untold Truth About The Holy Grail