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“And I Too Am My Own Forerunner” My Reading of Kahlil Gibran

Author Name: Indrani Chaudhuri | Format: Paperback | Genre : Literature & Fiction | Other Details

Predicated upon the towers of collapse, while T.S. Eliot, the representative modernist, in order to re-construct his culture out of the debris of its imperialist past, concluded his Waste Land (1922) by looking Eastward, into the all-pervading “shantih” of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese American, authored The Prophet (1923) to deconstruct such enterprise and retrieve a culture that was swirling in-between Darwinian metaphors and Nietzschean Nihilism. He who was exterior to the ‘omnipotent definitions’ of the West, saw in “Beauty” the “eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.” So, to him, “you are eternity and you are the mirror.” This book is a reading of Kahlil Gibran's life and works: his life as a text and his works as the terrains of a never-ending journey. It opens up those fissures and ruptures that make Gibran and his writings relevant vis-á-vis the socio-political, cultural and religious urgencies that the world is grappling with today. Often misconstrued as a mystic or an Oriental Wise Man, Gibran dwells in an amorphous placeless-ness within the academic space and outside of it. “Forerunner” in its own way, this book, by unfolding the process of 'reading' as a mode of travelling, subverts such stereotypes and tries to reveal to the readers that 'outlandish' lonely intellectual who, through his works, fashioned a self and a land ‘out of place’, rather in a ‘non-place’, for dismantling and up-setting monolithic cultures and their decadent notions.


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Indrani Chaudhuri

A graduate from  Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta, the author has a postgraduate degree from the University of Calcutta, M.Phil from Jadavpur University, and a Ph.D degree in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. As a Fulbright Doctoral Fellow (2007-08) who was affiliated to the Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Indrani Chaudhuri belongs to a family that has made significant contributions to the academic and cultural heritage of Bengal.

Presently a permanent faculty in the Department of English, Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, Indrani has contributed numerous research articles and essays in well-known journals and newspapers. One of her research-papers has been archived at the Kahlil Gibran Collective Digital Archive. Apart from intensive academic research she passionately advocates Human Rights and Gender Justice and writes extensively on these topics.

Having twenty years of experience in teaching and research within the rubrics of several colleges and a University, she has, now, turned to such writing that would remain the articulation of her soul and the sanctuary of her mind.