L’Aéropostale and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, as told by Yves Marc

Quick link to MP3s and printed transcript (Members only.)

If you’ve never read Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s books, here is why you might want to: they are short and readable, but they make you think deeply about life. In the days after you finish a Saint-Exupéry book, you find your mind coming back to it; you continue to work through the ideas and events of the story in order to understand them better and to make sure you remember the lessons that Saint-Exupéry was trying to convey. Some of these books are also very exciting: I am thinking of “Vol de Nuit,” for example. Here is a list of Saint-Exupéry’s books.

If you are a fan of Saint Exupéry, you will enjoy hearing about L’Aéropostale, where Saint Exupéry got so much of his inspiration. L’Aéropostale was a postal airline which started just after the first world war and, by 1930, stretched from Paris to the southern tip of Argentina. For a time, Saint-Exupéry ran one of the airports in the desert along this line. (Do you remember that “Le Petit Prince” starts out with an unplanned landing in the desert?)

French-language wikipedia page about l’Aéropostale
French-language page about Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Here is an interesting link about M. Luc Vanrell’s discovery of the wreckage of Saint-Exupéry’s plane. And here is a link to a long video of Luc Vanrell discussing the find. (Apparently, M. Vanrell was able to locate and interview the man who shot down Saint Exupéry’s plane,  but I have not found a link.)

Yves Marc is a journalist and author whose specialty is the history of aviation. Martin Venzal interviewed him about the famous Aéropostale line. As part of the discussion, they talk about some of the line’s famous pilots, such as Jean Mermoz, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Henri Guillaumet.

Listening Fluency exercises

(To improve your comprehension of conversational French.)

To learn away from your computer: download the MP3s and get the printed transcript

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 1

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 2

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 3

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 4

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 5

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 6

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 7

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 8

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 9

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 10

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 11

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 12

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 13

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 14

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 15

Aéropostale and Saint Exupéry, part 16

Best regards,
David Tolman