The Kahlil Gibran Collective

The Artist The Poet The Man

The Kahlil Gibran Digital Archive

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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. 
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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.

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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

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Le prophète, translated into French by Madeline Mason-Manheim, Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, 1926.

Tags: 1926, french, MadelineMason-Manheim, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

Concerning the Author of "The Prophet", National Bahá'í Review, No. 6, Bahá'í Year 125, August 1968, p. 3.

Tags: 1968, baha'i, Review, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" read and performed at St. Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie (New York), The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Oct 13, 1928, p. 5.

Tags: 1928, article, newspaper, NewYork, StMarks, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Maria Paola Porcelli, "Gibran, «Il Profeta» dell’Oriente amava le piramidi di New York", La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Nov 20, 2005, p. 25 (review)

Tags: 2005, FrancescoMedici, italian, Review, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Bing Xin, “Autobiographical Notes,” Renditions – A Special Section on Bing Xin, translated into English by J. Cayley, No. 32, Autumn 1989, pp. 83–87.

Tags: 1989, BingXin, Chinese, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

Koliswa Moropa, "The initiator in the translation process: A case study of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran in the indigenous languages of South Africa", South African Journal of African Languages, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2012, pp. 99-109. 
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This article examines the role played by the initiator in the translation of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran into the indigenous South African languages and the resulting influence on the translator's decisions. This is achieved through an exploration of how this work came to be translated into the indigenous languages of South Africa, with a discussion of who initiated the translation process, and the intention behind the decision. Translation scholars generally agree that the translator is seldom given an explicit brief; it then becomes his or her responsibility to ask for one. In considering the function of the initiator in the translation of this work by Gibran, the aim was to establish whether the brief provided by the initiator was useful. The article seeks to establish some guidelines as to what constitutes a clear translation brief, in the case of literary translation in particular.
 
Tags: 2012, SouthAfrica, TheProphet, translation

In Digital Archive

"Robo judio Mois Hain Harun escritos del gran Gibrán Khalil Gibrán", Mundo Árabe, Feb 25, 1949, p. 5.

Tags: 1949, article, MoisHainHarun, spanish, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

"El Profeta de Khalil Gibrán fue analizado en Antofagasta", Mundo Árabe, Jun 30, 1955, pp. 5,8.
Tags: 1955, article, spanish, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Roberto Meza Fuentes, "El Profeta por Gibran Jalil Gibran", La Reforma, Jan 7, 1933, p. 2.

Tags: 1933, article, spanish, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Reem Mohammed Alzaid, "The Ethics of Prophecy, Utopian Dream, and Dystopian Reality: A Comparative Study of Thomas More’s Utopia and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet", University of Alberta (Canada), 2016. 
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The main purpose of this study is to compare Thomas More’s Utopia and Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet in relation to their context, as well as to determine how they were received by the academic community. More and Gibran created imaginary worlds in order to criticize their own communities, and to outline what could be the elements of an ideal society. They were educators who created imaginary places in order to fashion their utopian dream. Although they came from different cultures and eras, they touched on common social problems that are still relevant today in our modern society, such as materialism, fanaticism, and the restriction of individual freedom. They were concerned with what constitutes a utopian society and what are the necessary characteristics of an ideal state. Chapter one focuses on Khalil Gibran’s life and on how his personal life and historical background are reflected in his main work The Prophet. The chapter also examines the impact of his hybrid identity as a Lebanese-American immigrant on his writing. Gibran spent his life between the East and the West, and was influenced by both cultures and literatures. This chapter examines how Gibran’s biography contributed to the success of The Prophet and to what extent it is a multireligious and multicultural text. The Prophet went through a long process of gestation before it was published in English which, as now, was the universal language at the time, and which contributed enormously to the popularity of the work. Chapter two looks at More’s biography as the author of Utopia and evaluates how it can be read as a critique of England in the fifteenth century. Utopia has been interpreted in many ways given the contradictions which arise in the text which are responsible for its many ambiguities. In Book I, More appears to criticize English tradition by presenting his Utopia as an ideal commonwealth. Hythloday, the main character of the work, admires these Utopian traditions when in fact More satirizes them for these same reasons. What More criticizes in Book I corresponds to what is said to be positive in utopian society in Book II. This chapter also discusses how interpretations of Utopia differ over time and how some critics have read it as a representation of an ideal commonwealth while others have viewed it as a criticism of English society and culture. Chapter three is a comparative study of More’s Utopia and Gibran’s The Prophet and it deals with their different versions of utopia. The first part of the chapter discusses the major themes that these works have in common such as pride and how it can be destructive in a society when linked to religion or material possessions. Individual freedom is the other major topic they have in common. Both More and Gibran embrace the concept of individualism and reject the idea of a collectivist society. For them, what is destructive of a community is the repression of the individual and his desires. More’s and Gibran’s dream of Utopia, while related to their specific and different backgrounds, find a common ground in their hopes for a similar ideal society. The thesis concludes with a Conclusion that summarizes the differences and similarities between these two authors.
 
Tags: 2016, study, TheProphet, ThomasMore

In Digital Archive

Nidaa Hussain Fahmi Al-Khazraji - Mardziah Hayati Abdullah - Bee Eng Wong, "Critical Reading of Gibran’s World in The Prophet", English Language and Literature Studies, Canadian Center of Science and Education, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2013. 
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Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), the Lebanese writer, poet, artist and philosopher, was the bearer of faith in the unity of all religions. He was a key figure in the history of modern EnglishandArabic literature in early 20th Century.The present paper is to show how Gibran represents the world and undesirable social practices in the time of writing his greatest book The Prophet (1923). Gibran lets the readers fell that the prophet (Al-Mustafa) doesn’t belong to this very world; he comes to Orphalese to teach humanity and to correct the society under the tenets of all major religious. Each character in The Prophet, except Al-Mustafa, resamples one member of the deformed society who seeks deliverance. Gibran shortens the process of life and its needs in the 28 texts allowing the readers take an active role to interpret and to dictate the context on oblique hints and innuendo. Gibran views the world as a place that lacks love and peace, where individuals’ life is depraved and corrupted. The most obvious, Gibran is speaking through the mouth of Al-Mustafa preaching many commandments, disciplines and rituals.
 
Tags: 2013, article, TheProphet

In Digital Archive

Hoda Thabet, "Four American Cultural Institutions in Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland", University of Iceland, School of Humanities, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Literature and Linguistics, 2016.
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This paper investigates the influence of Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1835) and The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (1883-1930) on American literature from the perspective of four major cultural institutions. In the literature currently available, there is little in reference to the influence of Gilman and Gibran- two marginalized writers at the beginning of the era of American realism- on the discourse of American literature. 
The purpose of this study is to focus primarily on the works of Gibran examining how he depicts four vital cultural institutions. The researcher will compare another marginalized writer, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with Gibran and both of their focuses on, and the impact of, four cultural institutions on their writing. The institutions focused on are family, education, religion, and love of country. Gibran was a male who lived in an era when society oppressed women and considered them unequal to men. Gilman was a female who lived in the same era. Each has a very analytical, fictional approach to how things could be if they were different in real life. They are from two different traditions. Gibran was an Arab immigrant, who was a pioneer of Modern Arabic American literature. Gilman was an American woman living in a society where women are not valued nor considered equal to men. Many consider her a pioneer in feminism because of her in-depth look at women and their place in society in her writings. There is value in analyzing the works of writers from two different traditions. The comparison and contrast between the two gives a basis for better understanding each. It further enhances the understanding of a literature work’s impact on a historical era, as well as the impact that the historical era has on the literature of the time. Doing a comparative study of literature from the same period and with similar themes leads to greater understanding of not only the literature but the society of the time. An examination of their literary comparisons between Herland and The Prophet and their impact on the culture of the era is a focus of this paper. The structure of the intended analysis of Herland and The Prophet is as follows: to investigate three major factors. First, the researcher will examine Gibran’s work in light of its place in the literature of its individual culture and in relation to transcendentalism. Second, the researcher will then examine Gilman’s work in light of its culture. Finally, the researcher will compare the effect of Herland and The Prophet on four major cultural institutions of their era. The four investigated institutions included are family, religion, education, and love of country (patriotism). Many scholars trace Herland and The Prophet in the study of American literature as pioneering iconic works. However, critical and cultural approaches proposed in the literary studies will compare the featured writings of Gibran to Gilman. The comparative study of inter-textual relation between The Prophet and Herland will define a more in-depth understanding of how their writing influenced the four institutions defining culture.
 
Tags: 2016, CharlottePerkinsGilman, TheProphet, thesis

In Digital Archive

K. Gibran, Der Prophet (The Prophet), translated into German by Georg-Eduard Freiherr von Stietencron, München: Hyperionverlag, 1925.

Tags: 1925, German, TheProphet, translation