Artcurial will auction off two rare handwritten pages from an early draft of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The manuscript includes the story of an earthling obsessed with a crossword puzzle, a strange tale ultimately cut from the final edition of the book.
Follow this link to read a translation of the unpublished pages. Scribbled on onionskin paper, the draft was written around 1941. A few years later, de Saint-Exupery disappeared while flying a military mission in North Africa. Here’s more about the manuscript:
The second leaf of the manuscript is completely original. The petite figure has just arrived on Earth and meets the first person on the planet, “perhaps an ambassador of the human spirit.” The man is very busy; He is looking for a six-letter word that means “gargling.” This crossword enthusiast reminds one of the businessman that the Little Prince meets in the published version: Both are absorbed by abstract thoughts, letters, or numbers, and both are perturbed by this curious little character asking constant questions. Just as the businessman is too busy calculating the number of these “little golden objects that set lazy men to idle dreaming” – the stars! -, the crossword enthusiast has little time to devote to his visitor: “I am very busy […]. I have been working for three days without success. I am looking for a six-letter word that starts with G that means ‘gargling’.” (Via Reddit)