Gransnet forums

Books/book club

Never dared say this before about "The Prophet"

(52 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]

feetlebaum Sun 14-Oct-12 19:55:30

One of many Hitch quotations I keep by me:

"[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction."

Anne58 Sun 14-Oct-12 20:14:57

Another "putting one's head above the parapet" posting/comment here!

Personally I feel that anything that you read that makes you think , even if it only makes you think "bloody hell, what a load of testicular nonsense", must have done some good!

(I'll get my coat)..............

Greatnan Sun 14-Oct-12 20:54:25

I agree with you,Phoenix , it is good to be intellectually challenged sometimes.

petallus Sun 14-Oct-12 21:00:21

I agree that anything that makes you think is probably going to be a good thing, especially if it leads to better self insight.

Regarding C H, I was interested to hear him say, in an interview sometime before he died, that he was a contrarian (as you would expect a person who takes an opposing view to the majority or who behaves in a contrary manner). I wonder if this means that if CH had grown up in, say, Russia he would have been deeply religious.

I read Hitch 22 last year (I think it was). He is such a good writer and I found the first three quarters of the book interesting.

Anne58 Sun 14-Oct-12 21:13:42

I'm all of a doo dah! I was hoping that what I was trying to say would be understood, and it seems it was!

I award myself a prize of a glass of a rather good Sauvignon Blanc.

crimson Sun 14-Oct-12 21:27:05

Oh joy; I thought I was the only person on the planet who thought that about Mother Teresa. Does this thread get an award for 'the most times I've had to resort to a dictionary and wikipedia'....I feel really really thick [but not for the first time smile]. And greatly honoured that Bags thought I'd heard of it in the first place [hurrah]. [Will now go back to my current pastime of sticking pins in effigies of TalkTalk; may use some of the aformentioned profanities when I write to'em; or when I phone up the Indian call centre again].

Greatnan Sun 14-Oct-12 21:31:11

I think I have mentioned my opinon of Mother Theresa on previous threads. She consorted with some evil people. And, boy, did she like personal publicity.

absentgrana Mon 15-Oct-12 07:49:31

So what is the difference between refulgence and effulgence – anyone?

absentgrana Mon 15-Oct-12 07:52:37

Mother Theresa's main concern for her orphans was their spiritual well-being; physical health came a poor second. She was a nun, for goodness sake; what did anyone expect?

Greatnan Mon 15-Oct-12 07:53:11

None according to google - they both mean the quality of radiance. Nice words, though!
I gave up reading Anthony Burgess because I always felt that he was writing with a thesaurus at his elbow. I like the Jane Austen school - never use a complicated word when a simple word will do.

absentgrana Mon 15-Oct-12 08:11:16

greatnan In general I agree, but sometimes exactly the opposite works superbly.

The sun whose rays
Are all ablaze
With ever-living glory,
Does not deny
His majesty
He scorns to tell a story!
He don't exclaim
"I blush for shame
So kindly be indulgent,"
But fierce and bold
In fiery gold
He glories all effulgent.

W.S. Gilbert

Bags Mon 15-Oct-12 08:48:33

Effulge is a verb – to shine out

Refulgent is an adjective describing something radiant, refulgence the related noun.

Bags Mon 15-Oct-12 08:49:30

Oh! I see, absent. Scrub my last in that case. grin

absentgrana Mon 15-Oct-12 08:52:55

Effulgent is an adjective, effulgence is a noun so still no difference Bags. The only difference I can see is in the source: effulgere – to shine brightly; refulgere – to shine out – and even that difference has been lost in

Lilygran Mon 15-Oct-12 09:13:08

I think you should all watch yourselves. This discussion is dangerously highbrow and getting Latinate and I'm beginning to feel intimidated by the polyester. iPad prefers that word to polysyllable.

feetlebaum Mon 15-Oct-12 09:13:19

As for tautology - the most irritating example for me is 'foot pedal'.

What other kind of pedal is there?

Bags Mon 15-Oct-12 09:19:17

lily, grin grin

Elegran Mon 15-Oct-12 09:20:41

Well, I have read about people "pedalling" drugs, but I don't think a drugs dealer would use a bicycle. I don't know though - less traceable than a car reg.

Mother Theresa could have remembered the injunction "inasmuch as ye do this for the meanest of my people ye do it for me" and exhortations to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, as much as to care for their souls, and educating and emancipating women to better do these things for their families is also doing God's work.

absentgrana Mon 15-Oct-12 10:11:22

Elegran She could have done…

Mishap Mon 15-Oct-12 11:00:25

Feetlebaum - your Hitch quote is a perfect example of both his pithy style of writing and his genuine concern for humanity.

Crimson - talktalk eh?! - we gave up on them and changed suppliers - it all drove us near-bonkers.

Ariadne Mon 15-Oct-12 11:27:59

Just dropped in - still unpacking things. Greatnan I ^love* Omar Khayyam!

"Oh come with old Khayyam and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
The flower that once has blown forever dies."

(Except it doesn't because of seeds and things...)

"Come fill the cup, and in the fire of spring
Your Winter garments of repentance fling."

Must go and empty some boxes, but feel better for that.

Greatnan Mon 15-Oct-12 11:50:32

My uncle was fond of a tipple, and for his epitaph he chose:

And when like her, Oh Saki, you shall pass,
Among the guests, star-scattered on the grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot where I made one,
Turn down an empty glass.

I have a couple of different translations, but I think that of Edward Fitzgerald is the most commonly accepted. The illustrations in my slim volume are wonderful.

Ariadne Mon 15-Oct-12 12:20:49

smile yes, I prefer the Fitzgerald version. Love that last quotation!

nanaej Tue 16-Oct-12 10:57:15

I am still a fan of some of Gibran's work. Some does sound sugary and tautologous but I think putting it in the context of the time he wrote and the fact that, although in US, was from a middle eastern culture, redeems it somewhat. I do support the sentiments of On Children.

I have enjoyed reading and debating Christopher Hitchens writings over the years, agreeing strongly with many of his views and disagreeing, equally as stongly, with others. Do not necessarily agree with his views on Gibran but do on atheism and Zionism!

nanaej Tue 16-Oct-12 10:59:32

refulgence nothing could sound less radiant to me than that word..for some reason makes me think of sewage confused