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Anthony Daniels: The false prophet (Kahlil Gibran's new age kitsch debunked.)
The New Criterion ^ | December 2007 | Anthony Daniels

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 mother’s 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. Although—or 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.[1] 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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: anthonydaniels; dalrymple; kahlilgibran; starwars; theodoredalrymple

1 posted on 12/02/2007 11:32:12 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Anthony Daniels of C-3PO fame?


2 posted on 12/02/2007 11:37:05 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: Captainpaintball
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.

3 posted on 12/02/2007 11:57:25 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

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.


4 posted on 12/03/2007 12:24:28 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: neverdem

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.


5 posted on 12/03/2007 12:32:43 AM PST by Enchante (Democrat terror-fighting motto: "BLEAT - CHEAT - RETREAT - DEFEAT - REPEAT")
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To: neverdem
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.

An advanced protocol droid fluent in multiple languages and dialects. Partners with fellow droid R2D2 and suspected of exchanging unwholesome robotic fluids when nobody is looking.
6 posted on 12/03/2007 1:33:32 AM PST by mkjessup (Hunter-Bolton '08 !! Patriots who will settle for nothing less than *Victory* in the War on Terror!)
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To: mkjessup

“...suspected of exchanging unwholesome robotic fluids when nobody is looking.”

Now that is sick thinking!


7 posted on 12/03/2007 1:37:56 AM PST by SatinDoll
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To: mkjessup
An advanced protocol droid fluent in multiple languages and dialects. Partners with fellow droid R2D2 and suspected of exchanging unwholesome robotic fluids when nobody is looking.

Thank you. I'm a science junkie who hates fiction.

8 posted on 12/03/2007 1:39:51 AM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem
Kahlil Gibran.

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!)

9 posted on 12/03/2007 2:18:15 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: mkjessup; neverdem
"What's C-3PO?"

I think I understand now why older people often have blank stares ... I'm only (almost) 60 ... and someone asks, "What's C-3PO?" .. ??




(blank stare)

10 posted on 12/03/2007 2:33:37 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: dr_lew

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.


11 posted on 12/03/2007 2:46:13 AM PST by Clioman
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To: neverdem
What's C-3PO?

What, you don't get cable in your cave?

12 posted on 12/03/2007 3:05:16 AM PST by ReignOfError
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To: neverdem

Here is a recent review, from “First Things,” of Gibran’s “Complete Works”:

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6068

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 one’s skull,
An earworm, dread and implacable.


13 posted on 12/03/2007 5:33:24 AM PST by Tax-chick (Every committee wants to take over the world.)
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To: neverdem
Don't ask me why because I don't know.

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.

14 posted on 12/03/2007 5:35:36 AM PST by Tax-chick (Every committee wants to take over the world.)
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To: neverdem

While I’ve no taste for mystics, new age heroes, and exquisitely sensitive poets...I’d settle for a Middle East full of Gibrans.


15 posted on 12/03/2007 5:38:49 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: neverdem
I'm a science junkie who hates fiction.

You must really despise Al Gore, eh? LOL
16 posted on 12/03/2007 6:38:56 AM PST by mkjessup (Hunter-Bolton '08 !! Patriots who will settle for nothing less than *Victory* in the War on Terror!)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

I would, too, meaning his family, who were and are Christians (mostly in this country now).


17 posted on 12/03/2007 7:27:09 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: mkjessup
You must really despise Al Gore, eh? LOL

I don't suffer fools gladly. That's a good guess.

18 posted on 12/03/2007 8:35:44 AM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Tax-chick
He used a pseudonym until he retired from his government job, to avoid harassment.

Thanks for the feedback, but he appears to be retired. Why would he still use the pseudonym?

19 posted on 12/03/2007 8:41:04 AM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

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.


20 posted on 12/03/2007 8:48:03 AM PST by Tax-chick (Every committee wants to take over the world.)
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To: neverdem; aculeus; AnAmericanMother; Billthedrill; Constitution Day
One looks in vain in these many pages for an arresting or poetic metaphor. I quote at random:
Dip your oar, my beloved,
And let me touch my strings.
It is impossible to plumb the shallows of this.

21 posted on 12/03/2007 8:58:20 AM PST by dighton
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To: dighton
LOL! Just another Omar Khayyam wannabe, but without the talent.

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!

22 posted on 12/03/2007 9:07:18 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: neverdem
That was much too long and tedious an article just to say, "I really don't like Kahlil Gibran and I'll tell you why over and over again".

I'll give him an aphorism from Semper: "You can't see in others that which is not also in yourself".

23 posted on 12/03/2007 10:07:53 AM PST by Semper
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To: dighton
Many thanks for the ping. The appeal of Gibran is actually fairly easy to understand for those of us who were actually in our (ahem!) spiritual growth years in the 60's and 70's.

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.

;-)

24 posted on 12/03/2007 4:06:48 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Tax-chick

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.


25 posted on 07/31/2011 3:02:11 AM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju

John does nothing for me under any name.


26 posted on 07/31/2011 5:01:38 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Do you know why I love reptiles? It's because they don't play guitars.)
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