The Mad Man, by Kahlil Gibran (Book Review and PDF)



Kahlil Gibran's insanity encompasses the rationales of sane men. How then could he be considered mad?

For Gibran, Madness is a rainbow of perspectives. It is the lens through which you view different things in countless different ways without losing your sanity. It is the ambiguity in which his words have been immersed, making it difficult to read his thoughts with absolute certainty.

He wrote:

 ...And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

The language and poetry of the mad man will engulf you and render you intoxicated, breathless and subdued. While at it, my heart brimmed over, so much so that I couldn't help but conclude that Kahlil Gibran's words need to be felt; not analyzed.

The mad man is a mystery that needs to be unraveled, otherwise the stories therein would be naught but mundane instances of life. I remember it took me a while to figure this out:

Once I said to a scarecrow, “You must be tired of standing in this lonely field.”

And he said, “The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting one, and I never tire of it.”

Said I, after a minute of thought, “It is true; for I too have known that joy.”

Said he, “Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it.”

Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittled me.

A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher.

And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nest under his hat.  

Like every of his books, the mad man stresses on humanity and the complexities that exist in the vast spaces of our minds. Indeed, only a mad man could have journeyed that far. 

For anyone who is looking to test his cognitive ability, or looking to broaden his perspective, or looking for a few moments of deep introspection; this book is a must read. It's a big 5 for me.

Have you figured out what transpired between the mad man and the scarecrow? Let me know what you think in the comments section below this post. Thank you.

Click here to read more of his books.


Author: Kahlil Gibran

Published: 1918

Language: English

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf





Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments.

  1. My interpretation of this story is the the man sees himself in a moment of self realization as if a scarecrow in a lonely field. He feels empty and meaningless. Because he only has ever valued his own reasoning he has scared others away. He has come to prefer his own company as conveniently there is no challenge to any of his positions and also no room for personal growth. But it is a lonely place. After a year long mission of seeking answers from outside himself he understands himself better and recognizes his own need for interaction, he has opened his mind as it were and let others in.

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