Kahlil Gibran - poet, philosopher, and artist - was born in Lebanon in 1883 but spent his final 20 years of life living in the United States. The three books that compose this audiobook are collections of Gibran's aphorisms, parables, and poetic essays.The first book, The Prophet, was originally published in 1923 and is considered Gibran's masterpiece. It is written in prose poetry in 28 parts, and deals with such topics as love, freedom, good and evil, religion, and death. It is a mystical and intensely subjective work, presenting the human soul as essentially noble and good. In The Forerunner, originally published in 1920, Gibran asserts that "Nobody is to be blamed for our 'being' and 'having' but ourselves." Gibran makes it clear that we are our own destiny and not the toy of a blind fate.Finally, the titular entity of The Madman, originally published in 1918, is not literally mentally unbalanced; on the contrary, he is perfectly healthy. His madness is only in the eyes of others. Gibran asserts that we tend to be what society expects from us, even though these expectations could be detrimental for the development of our self-identity. Oftentimes, we veil our true selves with masks out of fear of being ridiculed by others.More
Almost a century after its publication, The Prophet seems to resonate with audiences more than ever. Indeed, a 2009 New Yorker article cited Kahlil Gibran as the third best-selling poet of all time, behind only Shakespeare and Lao-tzu. Part of The Prophet’s appeal can surely be attributed to its breadth - its ability to deal with subjects ranging from the lofty abstraction of love and spirituality to the seemingly superficial notions of clothing and beauty. All of Gibran’s musings are shrouded in his ethereal, but practical, brand of mysticism, rendered here in the lilting velvet baritone of performer Jonathan Reese. Reese’s sonorous voice is itself almost hymnal, as the performer deftly captures the cadence of Gibran’s prose poetry.
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