The Wanderer, by Kahlil Gibran (Book Review and PDF)

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akinyemi's journal


Kahlil Gibran's parables are simple, scanty yet a whole encyclopaedia could be produced therefrom.

Completed shortly before his death in 1931, The Wanderer is in many ways a crystallization of Gibran's entire message. It was born out of the bitterness of his days and the dust and patience of his road.

But the true beauty of The Wanderer is not in the simplicity with which he expressed his messages. Rather, it is in the huge wisdom that each scrawny alphabet is able to carry. 

His words were woven with such great ambiguity that you can never be certain of his ideas and thoughts (and for this amazing reason, many more may not fancy the book). You just have to trust in your own cognitive abilities to transform the parables from  mundane instances of life into lenses for analyzing the true nature of humans.

In one of his parables, he wrote:

Once there lived a man among the hills who possessed a statue wrought by an ancient master. It lay at his door face downward and he was not mindful of it. One day there passed by his house a man from the city, a man of knowledge, and seeing the statue he inquired of the owner if he would sell it. The owner laughed and said, “And pray who would want to buy that dull and
dirty stone?” The man from the city said, “I will give you this piece of silver for it.” And the other man was astonished and delighted. The statue was removed to the city, upon the back of and elephant. And after many moons the man from the hills visited the city, and as he walked the streets he saw a crowd before a shop, and a man with a loud voice was crying, “Come ye in and behold the most beautiful, the most wonderful statue in all the world. Only two silver pieces to look upon this most marvellous work of a master.” Thereupon the man from the hills paid two silver pieces and entered the shop to see the statue that he himself had sold for one piece of silver.

The Wanderer, like Gibran's other books, stresses on humanity, emotions, and the complexities that exist in the vast spaces of human minds. For a book that was published in 1932, its relevance cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, Gibran was a wanderer who had roamed the past, the present and the future. 

For anyone who is looking for a few hours of deep introspection, or looking to broaden his perspective, this book is a must read. Check out this book and others, and you will understand why I have to rate it 4 out of 5.
 Akinyemi's journal


Author: Kahlil Gibran
First published in 1932
Number of pages: 116 pages
Recent Publisher: Martino Fine Books, 2013


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