First Published In: 1994.
In Spirit Brides, a collection of three short stories, Kahlil Gibran portrays his belief in the overwhelming power of
love in human nature. In "The Ash of Centuries and the Immortal Flame," Gibran describes a love that unites souls beyond
time and social restrictions. "Marta al-Baniyah" expresses Gibran's views on the exploitation of women and the poor. He
then makes a cutting commentary on the contrast between the ecclesiastical hierarchy and the simplicity of the teachings
of Jesus in his final story, "Yuhanna the Madman."
By: Whole Life Times
The three tales represent some of Gibran's earliest published works and faithfully reproduce the author's lyrical and
dramatic style. These tales are exquisitely wrought works of art that serve to illustrate the ills, joys, and sorrows
common to all human societies. Featuring Gibran's own drawings, many suffused with a surreal quality, the book captures
brilliantly the poetic and the realist that co-existed in the author.
* * * * * * *
By: Library Journal
These two collections, which inaugurate a five-volume series, are not likely to enjoy the popularity of Gibran's The
Prophet (1923). Originally published in Arabic in the first decade of this century, these stories and prose poems are
chiefly vehicles for the writer's vague spiritualism, nostalgic idealism, or gloomy condemnation of society. The narratives
themselves are either entirely symbolic or mere frames for the messages (such as belief in the transmigration of souls,
exposure of the wickedness of established religion, and censure of the oppression of the poor and weak). Since the
translations are new, the self-conscious literariness of the high-flown style must be Gibran's own. Some wisdom can be
gleaned from these tendentious pieces (a brief essay on slavery in The Storm is moving), but the combination of mysticism,
melancholy, and mannerism here ranks no higher as philosophy than it does as literature.
- Patricia Dooley, Seattle
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.