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In Digital Archive
Al-Bada’i’ wa al-tara’if (Best Things and Masterpieces), a collection of thirty-five of Gibran’s pieces, was published in Cairo in 1923. The works had been selected by the publisher, and the collection is uneven and miscellaneous. It includes several short articles on major Arab thinkers, illustrated with portraits drawn from Gibran’s imagination, and prose poems and sketches of the sort familiar from his earlier collections. Two pieces are of more interest than the others. “Safinat al-dubab” (A Ship in the Mist) is a strange romantic short story. A lonely young man dreams of a woman who visits him continually in his sleep and is his wife in spirit. When he is sent to Venice, he finds her; but she has just died. Iram, dhat al-’imad (Iram, City of Lofty Pillars) is a one-act play set in a city mentioned in the Qur’an. A young scholar, Najib Rahma, comes to the mysterious city seeking a prophetess, Amina al-’Alawiya, who is said to have visited there. He first meets her disciple, the dervish Zayn al-’Abidin; then Amina al-’Alawiya appears and expounds a monistic mystical philosophy.
In Digital Archive
Daniela Rodica Firanescu, "Renewing Thought from Exile: Gibran on the New Era", Synergies - Monde arabe, n° 8, 2011, pp. 67-80.
One of the most renowned Arab “men of letters in exile” (‘udabā’al-mahğar) in his life time, and exceptionally famous post-mortem, Gibran Khalil Gibran (Ğubrān Ḫalīl Ğubrān) was a promoter of change and renewal of the socio-political situations in the Arab world at the beginning of the 20th century. While his effective political engagement has been subject to debate, the militant character of his literary writings is incontestable. This paper focuses on such renewing ideas expressed in Gibran’s correspondence, his literary works, and in some literary essays such as “The New Era” (Al-‘Ahd al-Ğadīd, included in Gibran’s last collection written in Arabic, “The New and the Marvellous” - Al-Badā’i‘ wa-l-Ṭarā’if - published in Egypt, in 1923). As we have now the perspective of about a century past since the publication of these reflections, we are being surprised by how Gibran’s thoughts may be read as if they were put down... today, in the context of the renewal wave now flowing through the Arab lands, with the crucial contribution of their youth.