Skip to comments.Anthony Daniels: The false prophet (Kahlil Gibran's new age kitsch debunked.)
Posted on 12/02/2007 11:32:11 PM PST by neverdem
For self is a sea boundless and measureless. We shall never understand one another until we reduce the language to seven words. Kahlil Gibran
Among my mothers books was a copy of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I remember still the cream color of the cover, adorned with a soft-focus drawing of a young man with a thin moustache staring, Svengali-like, into some kind of philosophical infinity. Althoughor was it because?The Prophet was so popular at the time, selling by the million worldwide, I resisted reading it. I suspected that its profundity, or rather its straining after profundity, was bogus, and I was right. It is precisely in its ersatz quality that its popularity resides.
Gibran was an artist as well as a writer, and his drawings, with some of which this Collected Works is interspersed, suffer from a defect that is closely kindred to the defect from which his writing suffers. They consist mainly of naked men and women, often intertwined, as seen through a censoring mist. They are pornography without the genitalia. If ever there were an exhibition of his drawings, it might with justice be titled Nudity for Prudes...
(Excerpt) Read more at newcriterion.com:81 ...
Anthony Daniels of C-3PO fame?
What's C-3PO? Anthony Daniels uses Theodore Dalrymple as a pseudonym when he writes for City Journal. Don't ask me why because I don't know. He worked as a psychiatrist in the UK justice system.
We were warned not to like The Prophet in high school in the sixties. IMHO, there’s nothing really wrong with it, except it’s a bit overdrawn, maybe.
Well, well, I always suspected that “The Prophet” was drooling gibberish, but I never could get beyond a quick flip of the pages in a bookstore to really find out. When I glanced at a few passages at random, I derived the same impression as Anthony Daniels has developed with further examination: kitschy, unreflective, insipid “New Age” gibberish..... even if it was written all the way back in 1923.... he anticipated the “New Age” mentality quite well.
“...suspected of exchanging unwholesome robotic fluids when nobody is looking.”
Now that is sick thinking!
Thank you. I'm a science junkie who hates fiction.
Personally, I am thoroughly tired of weddings in which immature couples have decided to write their own, very trite, wedding vows. Invariably they quote Kahill Gibran. ( gag!)
I think I understand now why older people often have blank stares ... I'm only (almost) 60 ... and someone asks, "What's C-3PO?" .. ??
As I remember high school, you showed chicks how sensitive you were by pretending to read the Prophet while eating lunch in the cafeteria...although Rod McKuen was a close second.
What, you don't get cable in your cave?
Here is a recent review, from “First Things,” of Gibran’s “Complete Works”:
The best lines, in my opinion:
And it is the voice of Sir Laurence
Reading the King James Bible
That I hear within me as I write these words,
Which echo resonates within and bequeaths to me
The Prophetic Strain,
At least as far as you know.
Once that voice enters the mind,
As it does when one has read hundreds and hundreds of pages of Kahlil Gibran,
Its abode is fixed within,
It refuses all notices of eviction,
It continues to loop within the sphere of ones skull,
An earworm, dread and implacable.
He used a pseudonym until he retired from his government job, to avoid harassment. I don't know why he chose "Theodore Dalrymple," but it's far more distinctive than "Anthony Daniels," who, after all, played C-3PO.
While I’ve no taste for mystics, new age heroes, and exquisitely sensitive poets...I’d settle for a Middle East full of Gibrans.
I would, too, meaning his family, who were and are Christians (mostly in this country now).
I don't suffer fools gladly. That's a good guess.
Thanks for the feedback, but he appears to be retired. Why would he still use the pseudonym?
I think it’s because “Theodore Dalrymple” has built up a large readership, for both articles and books, which would be lost if he stopped using that name.
He might even have an agreement with “City Journal” to continue writing for them as Dalrymple. I’m certainly not going to remember to search for “Anthony Daniels” articles, but I go looking for Theodore Dalrymple regularly, bumping up CJ’s viewership.
One looks in vain in these many pages for an arresting or poetic metaphor. I quote at random:Dip your oar, my beloved,It is impossible to plumb the shallows of this.
And let me touch my strings.
And when like her, oh Sáki, you shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made One--turn down an empty Glass!
I'll give him an aphorism from Semper: "You can't see in others that which is not also in yourself".
In reading The Prophet we begin to see why so tedious and unimaginative a writer as Gibran should have appealed so strongly to the counterculturals.
The answer is extremely simple - Gibran works best if you're really stoned.
I think he’s slowly turning back into Anthony Daniels.
Just as John Cougar gradually turned into John Cougar Mellencamp and finally back into his real name: John Mellencamp.
John does nothing for me under any name.