By Francesco Medici and Glen Kalem-Habib
© all rights reserved 2020
The Kahlil Gibran Collective has revealed the discovery of an unpublished letter of Kahlil Gibran to an unknown recipient, talking about his newfound appreciation for Philology.
Though I am not a linguist, philology has been, and is now, one of the most interesting subjects to me.
Medici and Kalem-Habib's research was unable to place a date to the letter, nor who its recipient was. Looking at content and subject matter, the researchers estimate it was written in-between 1925-1930. Gibran, "a man of (many) letters" took so much pride and care in writing them and this letter reveals much of that pride and care when he says;
Is there really a difference between writing a poem and a letter - that is if the writer does not know the difference?
What also makes this letter even more interesting and revealing to scholars, it mentions for the first time, Gibran's passion for the subject of Philology. This subject seems to have eluded previous scholars or it was simply not noted. Kalem-Habib draws on the fact that Gibran's interest in the subject may have been drawn from his love and knowledge of his native Middle East. Considered the birthplace of so many of the worlds most spoken languages today and the foundations of much of the East and West's spiritual text, the Syro-Arabian languages, which include Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Hebrew, Tigre, Aramaic, Assyrian and Maltese would have been at the forefront of his mind.
I think that the history of words is the history of the human mind.
Letter of Kahlil Gibran [On Philology] (Unknown Recipients, Undated) TEXT
Though I am not a linguist, philology has been, and is now, one of the most interesting subjects to me. I think that the history of words is the history of the human mind. I did visit Rocheport more than once, but I did not have the pleasure of meeting your friends there. My memory for names is poor, but not for faces.
You ask me why I am interested in you and in your letters. As an answer I would say: why did I write "The Prophet", the little book which you said you like? Is there really a difference between writing a poem and a letter - that is if the writer does not know the difference? In a day or two I am going to New Hampshire. Most of the time I shall be alone in the forest. Write to me, if you should care to do so.
Your letters are always welcome.
N.B The Kahlil Gibran Collective has made and will continue to make trace and acknowledgment of the rightful owner of the letter. If any required credits have been omitted or any rights overlooked, it is completely unintentional.