The Kahlil Gibran Collective

The Artist The Poet The Man

The Kahlil Gibran Digital Archive

Search Digital Archive
Reset

In Digital Archive

Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, was published in September 1923. The earliest references to a mysterious prophet counseling his people before returning to his island home can be found in Haskell’s journal from 1912. Gibran worked on it from time to time and had finished much of it by 1919. He seems to have written it in Arabic and then translated it into English. As with most of his English books, Haskell acted as his editor, correcting Gibran’s chronically defective spelling and punctuation but also suggesting improvements in the wording. The work begins with the prophet Almustafa preparing to leave the city of Orphalese, where he has lived for twelve years, to return to the island of his birth. The people of the city gather and beg him not to leave, but the seeress Almitra, knowing that his ship has come for him, asks him instead to tell them his truths. The people ask him about the great themes of human life: love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, and many others, concluding with death. Almustafa speaks of each of the themes in sober, sonorous aphorisms grouped into twenty-six short chapters. As in earlier books, Gibran illustrated The Prophet with his own drawings, adding to the power of the work. The Prophet received tepid reviews in Poetry and The Bookman, an enthusiastic review in the Chicago Evening Post, and little else. On the other hand, the public reception was intense. It began with a trickle of grateful letters; the first edition sold out in two months; 13,000 copies a year were sold during the Great Depression, 60,000 in 1944, and 1,000,000 by 1957. Many millions of copies were sold in the following decades, making Gibran the best-selling American poet of the twentieth century. It is clear that the book deeply moved many people. When critics finally noticed it, they were baffled by the public response; they dismissed the work as sentimental, overwritten, artificial, and affected. Neither The Prophet nor Gibran’s work, in general, are mentioned in standard accounts of twentieth-century American literature, though Gibran is universally considered a major figure in Arabic literature. Part of the critical puzzlement stems from a failure to appreciate an Arabic aesthetic: The Prophet is a Middle Eastern work that stands closer to eastern didactic classics such as the Book of Job and the works of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century Persian poets Rumi and Sa’di than to anything in the modern American canon. Gibran knew that he would never surpass The Prophet, and for the most part, his later works do not come close to measuring up to it. The book made him a celebrity, and his monastic lifestyle added to his mystique.

Tags: 1923, knopf, NewYork, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

al-Nabī [The Prophet], Translated into Arabic by Antūniyūs Bashīr, al-Qāirah: al-Maṭbaʻah al-Raḥmānīyah bi-Miṣr, 1926.

Tags: 1926, al-nabi, arabic, GibrankhalilGibran, kahlilgiran, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet, The Artist, The Man [Guide], State Library of New South Wales, 4 December 2010 to 20 February 2011.

Tags: 2011, australia, Exhibiton, guide, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Armed Services Editions were small paperback books of fiction and nonfiction that were distributed in the American military during World War II. From 1943 to 1947, some 122 million copies of more than 1,300 ASE titles were distributed to servicemembers, with whom they were enormously popular. The ASEs were edited and printed by the Council on Books in Wartime (CBW), an American non-profit organization, in order to provide entertainment to soldiers serving overseas, while also educating them about political, historical, and military issues. The slogan of the CBW was: "Books are weapons in the war of ideas." 

Tags: 1943, 1947, ArmedServices, TheProphet, WorldWarII, WWII

In Digital Archive

Der Novi (The Prophet), translated into Yiddish by Isaac Horowitz, Warsaw (Poland): Yatshkovski’s Biblyotek, 1929.
Tags: 1929, TheProphet, translation, yiddish

In Digital Archive

al-Nabī [The Prophet], Translated into Arabic by Mīkhāʼīl Nuʻaymah [Mikhail Naimy], Bayrūt: Nawfal, 2015 (1st edition: Bayrūt: Nawfal, 1956).

Tags: 1956, arabic, MikhailNaimy, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

al-Nabī [The Prophet], Translated into Arabic by Sharwat 'Ukāshah, Bayrūt: Dār al-Shurūq, 2000.
Tags: 2000, arabic, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet: Curriculum Guide For the Film, Journeys in Film-Participant Media, 2015.

Tags: 2015, Film, guide, ParticpantMedia, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Josephine Preston Peabody, The Prophet [probably inspired by Kahlil Gibran], The Singing Man: A Book of Songs and Shadows, Boston-New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911, pp. 53-55.

Tags: 1911, JosephinePeabody, Poetry, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Ameen Albert Rihani, The Book of Khalid and The Prophet. Similar Universal Concerns with Different Perspectives: A Comparative Study, PALMA, Volume 7, Issue no. 1, 2001, pp. 31-41. 
_________
 
Presented at "The Gibran International Conference", University of Maryland, College Park, December 9-12, 1999, Maryland USA.
Tags: 1999, conference, Rihani, study, thebookofkhalid, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Maya El Hajj, Aporias in Literary Translation: A Case Study of "The Prophet" and Its Translations, "Theory and Practice in Language Studies", Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2019, pp. 396-404.

Tags: 2019, FrancescoMedici, GlenKalem, study, TheProphet, Translations

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Le prophète, Traduit de l'anglais et présenté par Anne Wade Minkowski, Préface d'Adonis, Paris: Gallimard, 1992.

Tags: 1992, french, Paris, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Pravakta [The Prophet], trans. into Telugu, Hyderabad (India): Chikkala Krishna Rao, 1994.

Tags: 1994, india, telugu, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Usne Kaha [The Prophet], Translated into Sanskrit, Uttar Pradesh: Bharatiy Akhil Sangh Seva, 1957.

Tags: 1957, Sanskrit, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Katcilik [The Prophet], translated into Kotava by Staren Fetcey, Kotavaxak dem Suterot, 2015.

_______
Kotava is a proposed international auxiliary language (IAL) that focuses especially on the principle of cultural neutrality. The name means "the language of one and all," and the Kotava community has adopted the slogan "a project humanistic and universal, utopian and realistic". The language is mainly known in French-speaking countries and most material to learn it is in French.
Kotava was invented by Staren Fetcey, who began the project in 1975, on the basis of her study of previous IAL projects. The language was first made available to the public in 1978, and two major revisions were made in 1988 and 1993. Since then, the language has stabilized, with a lexicon of more than 17,000 basic roots.

 

Tags: 2015, IAL, Kotava, TheProphet, Transaltion

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Sang Nabi [The Prophet], translated into Malay by Iwan Nurdaya Djafar, Yogyakarta (Indonesia): Bentang, 2003.

Tags: 2003, indonesian, Malay, TheProphet, Transaltion