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Never dared say this before about "The Prophet"

(51 Posts)
Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 14:25:05

You know the one, by Kahlil Gibran. Well, I've always found it a bit provocative of mental nausea, which I couldn't possibly admit to because so many people love it. I'm used to being out on a limb but not that much! So imagine my delight to find that Christopher Hitchens describes its contents as "bogus refulgences and sickly tautologies" (p18 of the Kindle version of Hitch 22 – yes, that is only how far I've got, crimson!).


[hides quickly]

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 14:27:58

Oops! Sorry! It was mamie who asked how I was getting on with Hitch 22, not crimson.

annodomini Sun 14-Oct-12 14:30:07

Haven't read Hitch 22 but I agree with you about The Prophet, Bags, but don't think I could put it better than Hitchens.

soop Sun 14-Oct-12 14:33:10

In short - Codswallop!

Butternut Sun 14-Oct-12 14:37:29

Hmm, well CH certainly has a way with words - had to google 'reflugence' and 'tautologies'.

Grannyknot Sun 14-Oct-12 14:55:12

I was quite taken with The Prophet when I was much younger and at a point in my life when it seemed to mean something. Besides I had it on an LP record with Richard Harris reading it smile. The point is, people grow and change and move on (or not of course). I also used to read the poetry of Rod McKuen at that time and it was deeply meaningful grin. I don't mind whether people agree, disagree or are neutral about anything I write.

Greatnan Sun 14-Oct-12 15:00:41

Blimey, Bags, your thread title had me scared - I thought we were about to venture into the dangerous waters of criticising You-know-who! I agree about the other Prophet, although I did like the bits about letting your children go.
I prefer the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

petallus Sun 14-Oct-12 15:07:03

I read The Prophet at one time and liked some of it but, yes, it is just a bit icky. I feel the same about Paulo Coelho and The Desiderata.

jeni Sun 14-Oct-12 15:19:02

I was worried as well!

glitabo Sun 14-Oct-12 15:32:37

I read the bit about your children are arrows shot from your bow at DS2's wedding. smile

JessM Sun 14-Oct-12 15:44:28

I had never heard of Hitchens until he died and R4 were indulging in paroxysms of grief. Turns out he was much beloved of media gay incrowd. So not necessarily the ultimate arbiter of what the rest of us like. (I have got the right chap haven't I bags?)
Is it icky or are us Brits terrified of anything sincere and spiritual??? A long while since I read it.

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 16:17:53

No idea about his gay media connections, jess. I only know him as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and bloody good talker.

gracesmum Sun 14-Oct-12 16:21:20

This is one of those books everybody speaks of (and quotes at weddings) but which I have never read. Probably won't bother either! Might read the Christopher Hitchens though.

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 16:43:20

Had to look up Paolo Coelho. Found a list of quotes. Yes, see what you mean, petallus.

JessM Sun 14-Oct-12 17:04:07

Oh maybe I got the gay part wrong. Interesting character. Antitheist contrarian... hmm

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 17:07:59

Brilliant debater.

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 17:08:57

Shredded That Blair Man once. I thoroughly enjoyed that, in spite of the sadness and disappointment after 1997. Sigh.

absentgrana Sun 14-Oct-12 17:13:34

I thought The Prophet – given to me by a boyfriend – as revelatory and wonderful when I was a girl. Going back to it now – and I had to rummage through a hole load of boxes in the glory hole – I think it is trite, simplistic and tedious. I'm not bonkers about The Rubber Yacht of Hymie Cohen (sorry) but do enjoy a big burst of Ozzy Mandy.

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 17:15:51

Bags retreats to google more unknown names!

absentgrana Sun 14-Oct-12 17:26:21

What the hell is a hole load of boxes? I really have to concentrate on keyboard a bit more.

Mamie Sun 14-Oct-12 17:27:47

Brilliant writer. Not gay afaik. Brother of Peter Hitchens, I think.

Mamie Sun 14-Oct-12 17:36:26

I share his views on the Iraq war, which makes me very unfashionable / unpopular. I don't want to debate it unless people have read CH on the subject though.

Bags Sun 14-Oct-12 17:59:15

Might get back to you on that, mamie, when I've read The Hitch on Iraq. He can be very convincing. [scared]

Mishap Sun 14-Oct-12 19:44:56

Hitch was a fine man - I liked his concern for humanity and his wit and humour. He led a bit of a rackety life, but put his heart into defending those on the receiving end of political or religious persecution.

He was an erudite man who wrote with conviction.

I am not totally down on the The Prophet, but I can see why Hitch might have found it a bit tacky.

I once sang at a wedding in an English church in France and someone read from this book; and then the vicar in his sermon virtually said what rubbish it was and how it had no place in a wedding service. I did think he might have had this conversation with the couple beforehand - might have been a bit more tactful!

feetlebaum Sun 14-Oct-12 19:45:38

@Butternut : "Hmm, well CH certainly has a way with words - had to google 'reflugence' and 'tautologies'."

They are OK (it's 'refulgence'). but I'm very glad of the dictionary in the Kindle - just today I had to look up 'ephebe' in a CH essay -- and I am one! Some philosophy terms I have looked up time and time again - they don't seem to stick, somehow - 'ontology' is a good example.