KAHLIL GIBRAN: His Life and World by Jean & Kahlil Gibran

KAHLIL GIBRAN: His Life and World

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Although written by a cousin and his wife, this is a scrupulous if overall non-judgmental biography of the man so likely to provoke reverential nonsense (see his amanuensis Barbara Young's The Man from Lebanon, still in print) or irritation since both Gibran's, and The Prophet's, remarkable longevity is usually attributed to a hot flash in adolescence. It's hard to say just who has not outgrown him early on and therefore would be interested in this carefully synchronized account of his life and books (did anyone read the recently released soul-to-soul correspondence -- Beloved Prophet?). But the record is all there: of Gibran's transition from the land of the Cedars to Boston, where several people helped him from the time he was thirteen; of the influences -- Maeterlinck, Blake, Burne-Jones, Renan; of the patronage of Fred Holland Day, then Josephine Preston Peabody, and finally Mary Haskell, who for twenty years contributed to his support and tried to be his afflatus-mentor-mistress. This was a difficult relationship he often tried to sublimate (avoid) even if he once claimed that ""intercourse was no more than picking a flower."" Gibran always appears to least advantage in his own words, effulgent and excessive. The Gibrans write simply and with the appearance of the Gibran oeuvre, include the voices of dissent as well as appreciation. There will be reproductions of the originals (100 black-and-white pictures) including the self-portrait of the mournful-eyed young man on his ""quest of the inchoate.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1974
ISBN: 156656249X
Publisher: New York Graphic Society