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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“For after all, why do we go on fighting? If we die for democracy then we must be one of the democracies. Let the rest fight with us, if that is the case. But the most powerful of them, the only one that could save us, chooses to bide its time. Very good. That is its right. But by so doing, that democracy signifies that we are fighting for ourselves alone. And we go on fighting despite the assurance that we have lost the war. Why, then, do we go on dying? Out of despair? But there is no despair. You know nothing about defeat if you think there is room in it for despair.

There is a verity that is higher than the pronouncements of the intelligence. There is a thing which pierces and governs us and which cannot be grasped by the intelligence. A tree has no language. We are a tree. There are truths which are evident, though not to be put into words. I do not die in order to obstruct the path of the invasion, for there is no shelter upon which I can fall back with those I love. I do not die to preserve my honor, since I deny that my honor is at stake, and I challenge the jurisdiction of my judge. Nor do I die out of desperation.”


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras
tags: defeat, despair, war
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Flight to Arras Flight to Arras by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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