Having found a link to his works http://leb.net/gibran/ and reading some of his shorter works it seems this should be a very famous person. In fact I susspect he is or was. So should I and others who hadn’t previously, have heard of him. Is he important or excentric?
The Scarecrow, from The Madman by Gibran Khalil Gibran
Once I said to a scarecrow, "You must be tired of standing in this lonely field.”
And he said, “The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting on, and I never tire of it.”
Said I, after a minute of thought, “It is true; for I too have known that joy.”
Said he, “Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it.”
Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittled me.
A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher.
And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nest under his hat.
Early in my senior year of High School, (1969) I met the girl of my dreams.
We met at a dance and began dating. I beleived she was my High School sweetheart and I quickly fell in Love with her. We studied together at the Library, enjoyed fantastic dates and planned to go to the Coronation. Through this beginning relationship there were awkward moments of distance and silence. She was sitting beside me in the car but not saying anything. This was killing me inside and I could not understand why…
A book by Khalil Gibran was circulating in Art Class and I picked it up one morning. It seemed like my immediate destiny as I opened to a page that said,
"Love and Doubt are never on speaking terms"
I instantly new that my Love was gone and my dreams with her were shattered.
Khalil was right and I have never forgotten the passage or the pain.
He was the Rod McKuen of philosophy. He had a marvelous ability to turn a phrase that sounded like it meant something, and was pretty, and nice to quote, but when actually examined turned out to be merely gold plate on a tin watch.
Unfortunately, Thoughts and Meditations isn’t online, or else I’d link you to his essay of that name :).
I loved his writings as a teenager, and read a fair amount about him. Some folks called him the Shakespeare of the Arabic language; from my understanding, he’s immensely popular in his home state of Lebanon and fairly popular throughout the Middle East. I find that most of his writings are pretty easily understood, and often betray a sly sense of humor.
Some of my favorite passages are from The Madman. A few examples (note that the work appears to be public domain):
The Prophet is full of wonderfully provoking passages, of course; but The Madman is smartasseder.