"Jesus was not sent here to teach the people to build magnificent churches and temples amidst the cold wretched huts and dismal hovels. He came to make the human heart a temple, and the soul an altar, and the mind a priest”: First Edition of Kahlil Gibran's Jesus The Son of Man; Thrice Inscribed by him to close personal friend Marie Louise Watters
Jesus The Son of Man.
Item Number: 73068
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929.
First edition of Kahlil Gibran’s masterful retelling of the story Jesus of Nazareth, inscribed by him four times and with an accompanying handwritten letter. Octavo, original cloth, illustrations by the author. Presentation copy, inscribed by Gibran on the front free endpaper in Arabic, with a second inscription to the frontispiece, “ML: You were there too, K. G.,” and a third on page 197, “To Marie Louise, a faithful friend, loving and lovable, who saw the beginning of this book, and she was generous, and she was helpful. Kahlil” On the illustration on page 14 Gibran has also penned, “Now behold!” A few passages are underlined in ballpoint, presumably by the recipient. Also laid in is a autographed letter handwritten by Gibran on his personal letterhead, dated August 24, 1929 to the same recipient. The letter reads: “Dear Marie Louise, I am delighted to hear that you are coming to New York some time in September. It will be so good to see you again. I have not been well-and I have been out of the world for a long time, and my heart is full of deep silence, unsung songs. And I am extremely restless. All these are signs of old age. Perhaps they are signs of a second youth in that I feel I must express myself in new forms of beauty. Do let me know more about your coming East. With exception of a short visit to this or that place now New York, I shall be free throughout the month of September. Please remember me in kindliness to your mother, and then to other members of your family. Ever faithfully, Kahlil.” The recipient Marie Louise Watters was a close friend of Gibran’s, the two met in Greenwich Village at the Arts Student League in 1918 where they both attended a ceramics course and remained friends until Gibran’s death in 1931. Also laid in is a type-written copy of Kibran’s obituary as appeared in the New York Times on September 20th, 1931. A rare and intimate association.
One of Gibran’s most well-loved works over 70 years after its original publication, Jesus the Son of Man is a striking fictional portrait of Christ as seen through the eyes of his contemporaries. Depicting a variety of famous figures, from Mary Magdalen to Pontius Pilate, Gibran’s spellbinding collection of narratives combines historical authority with the supreme eloquence that his admirers hold so dear. Fully conscious of the social, political, and religious realities of Palestine and Rome at the time, and at home with the local traditions and language, Gibran effortlessly evokes the spellbinding power of Christ’s presence upon his associates. Presented in an attractive gift format and accompanied by Gibran’s original artwork, this new edition allows Gibran’s inspirational account of Christ to be read once more.