BUENOS AIRES -- Argentine writer Alejandro Roemmers said he drew upon the values and teachings contained in "The Little Prince" in writing a work based on that classic tale, although he said his book has a happier ending.
According to the author, his work - titled "El regreso del joven principe" (The Return of the Young Prince) - is neither a continuation nor the second part of the famed novella by French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
But he said his protagonist is that same candid and innocent boy who travels from his home asteroid to Earth, though now transformed into an adolescent who becomes lost in Argentina's Patagonia region and is rescued by an adult.
The two embark on a long conversation in which they tackle the fundamental questions of human existence, and in this way the trip becomes a spiritual journey from innocence to maturity and from the ordinary to the transcendental.
"It's a spiritual compliment to 'The Little Prince.' It's not a continuation of the plot but a spiritual continuation that reclaims the values of childhood that shouldn't be lost," Roemmers, who wrote the 200-page book in just nine days, said in presenting the book in Buenos Aires.
According to the author, who said he was left despondent after reading "The Little Prince" as a child, his book is "a good guide for facing life and maintaining certain values throughout the years."
Saint-Exupery ended his story by writing that the little prince had returned to his asteroid and that, if he travels to Earth again "please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back." Sixty-five years after that classic was published in 1943, Roemmers has responded to that plea with "The Return of the Young Prince."
"It fell to an Argentine to offer us his vision of 'The Little Prince,' the grandnephew of Saint-Exupery and president of the foundation that bears the late author's name, Frederic d'Agay, wrote in the book's prologue.
Saint-Exupery lived and worked in Argentina, where he met his wife, and it has become popular legend that the shape of Isla de los Pajaros, off the coast of Argentina's Valdes Peninsula, inspired the famous illustration of an elephant-eating boa constrictor that appears in the original story.
"Whoever reads the book will later feel his or her heart a little softer and with a desire to hug someone," said Roemmers, honorary president of the American Poetry Association. EFE