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ћ.  онурбаев, ≈.Ѕочарова,


Published by Max Press in 2001


A Case Study of Biblical and Oriental Poetic Motives in Kahlil GibranТs Prose Poem The ProphetФby Elena Bocharova & Marklen Konurbayev


 нига представл¤ет собой первый в –оссии эксперимент стилизованного перевода художественно-философской поэмы  алил¤ ƒжибрана Ђѕророкї, котора¤ стала знаменитой на весь мир еще в начале ’’ века. Ќаписанна¤ американцем арабского происхождени¤, поэма быстро завоевала внимание и любовь читателей своими емкими и выразительными обобщени¤ми о смысле и значении ключевых дл¤ каждого человека пон¤тий Ц жизни, смерти, любви, вере, семье, дет¤х, молитве, труде и др. —разу после по¤влени¤ поэма  алил¤ ƒжибрана стала американским бест-селлером. ќна была выпущена тиражом в несколько милионов экземпл¤ров и была практически моментально распродана.

 нига ƒжибрана наполнена библейскими аллюзи¤ми и восточными поэтическими мотивами, которые авторы данного пособи¤ попытались передать в экспериментальном переводе с наибольшей точностью.

ќтзывы о книге можно направл¤ть авторам по электронной почте:

© ≈.Ѕочарова, ћ. онурбаев, 2001 г.©ѕеревод  алил¤ ƒжибрана Ђѕророкї ≈лена Ѕочарова, 2001 г.



This book is an attempt to reveal the principal peculiarities of translating a stylized text of fiction into another language in keeping with its genre characteristics and its specific УnationalФ and culturally unique УflavourФ.

The problem has become obvious in the second half of the 20th century, when the English-speaking world witnessed the appearance of literary works (produced by non-native users of the English language) which demonstrated their authorsТ ability to incorporate elements of their native (ethnic) cultures in their otherwise impeccable Уreal English thingФ. Suffice it to mention in this connection such names as Vikram Seth, Kazuo Ishiguro, Vladimir Nabokov, and many others.

With this basic idea in mind we decided to take a book written in the 1920s by a Lebanese-born American writer Kahlil Gibran and subject it to experimental translation into Russian, observing to our best ability all peculiarities of the author's individual style, the features of the literary and national traditions he belongs to and other decorative linguistic means which make this book so closely associated with Oriental wisdom and yet retaining in it a specific conceptual core which the Western reader perceived and accepted as something of a value for his own life Ц in spite of the obvious difference between the author's original vision of the Worldand the society's he lived in.

The book, The Prophet, which has become a bestseller in the pre-war America is Gibran's best-known work Ц a partly autobiographical poetic essay, which has been translated into over 20 languages. In fact it echoes a kaleidoscopic range of national Oriental motives. A closer look at the style and the concept of the book shows that it would be practically impossible to understand it without having a profound knowledge of its deep linguistic and cultural background, let alone translate it efficiently into another language.

The Prophet has an extremely rich Уvertical contextФ which makes understanding of it a real challenge for a philologist. In this light the principal purpose of the paper is to study GibranТs work as a unique stylistic phenomenon, an individual УproduceФ of the writer which incorporates the elements of Oriental wisdom literature. And here of course the problem of translatability comes to the fore, for the book definitely contains a set of features (both linguistic and notional) that should be attended to in the first place if the translator aims at rendering a specific background flavour, which makes a particular work of verbal art unforgettable.

For a translator the task of rendering Gibran's work in Russian is of a very great complexity. Eternal wisdom in such matters as marriage, love, children, money, etc. is presented to the reader in the form of subtle Oriental stylisations, thereby imposing on the translator the necessity of finding similar means in the target language. This small book of ours investigates how this basic aim of putting together an intricate message and peculiar form of poetic presentation can be best achieved.


From the linguistic point of view stylisation is Уan imitation of a manner, or narrative style, etc, typical of some genre, social milieu, time in history, etc, usually aiming at creating an impression of authenticityФ [16]. Normally a writer, aiming at creating the said effect, never tries to reproduce an exhaustive set of the peculiar genre features of imitated text, but thinks in terms of the Уnecessary and sufficientФ amount of conceptually and linguistically specific features bearing the main load in creating a particular effect.

A researcher, whose task it is to reveal these features, should probably begin by making a complete list of stylistic devices used by the author, and then consider their relative functional significance in producing a desired impact. The results of such study appear to be of thehighest practical value for a translator, who invariably faces the problem of the balance between conceptually significant elements and emotional-expressive УdecoratorsФ.

Guided by our principal purpose, we were certainly supposed first to make a study of the existing Russian translation of УThe ProphetФ. However, even a cursory glance at the sole existing Russian translation of the book proved that the latter was highly unsatisfactory. Not only some of the crucial notions were distorted or simply left out, and the rules of word collocation and colligation were violated, the translation definitely lacked the specific Уcultural flavourФ which is quite perceptibly felt in the book (as one would feel the Oriental tint in "The Arabian Nights", for example), not to mention that the general style of the work was far from being solemn and elevated as it was supposed to be. Even a very brief example is enough to point out the major drawbacks of the existing translation: Уfragments of the soulФ was translated as Укусочки душиФ. Bad Russian language irrevocably spoiled the translatorТs work: Угрусть вошла в негоФ, Унавеки стать залитым в неизменную формуФ, Умолчание снизошлоФ, Уваше сгибанье в рукахФ, Уработа дл¤ поддержани¤ телаФ, Учаша обожглась в печиФ, Уищите свободу иметь свою тайнуФ.

To prove the validity of our observations based on the scrupulous study of the original, we decided to make our own translation of the book taking into account all those theoretical conclusions that we have come to in this analysis.


These are briefly the questions that we are trying to answer in our paper.

In the first part we give a theoretic consideration of the basic notions underlying our research. These notions are: stylisation, functional style, and genre, and their relation to one another. In the second chapter of Part I we adduce the terms and the definitions adopted in this research We also thought it necessary to give a brief account of the literature that provided clues for the notional analysis of УThe ProphetФ.

In the second part of the paper we concentrated on the Уvertical contextФ, Уthe particular historical-philological УinformationФ intrinsically input by the author into his workФ [17], [23, c.12 - 13]. We tried to see what factors by and large predetermined the authorТs aesthetic design, and the forms of its expression, particularly, the genre of the book.

Chapter 2 of the second part provides the linguistic analysis of the book, i.e. the study of words and syntax. We tried to single out such elements that may be regarded crucial for creating Уcultural flavourФ and particular style of the work.

In the third part of the paper we attempted to find the best possible Russian equivalents of the crucial cultural elements, such as stylistically marked words, biblical stock phrasing and sentence types. We also analysed various ways of translating the notions and symbols into Russian.

Appendix includes several chapters translated in keeping with the principles set forth in the paper.

Part I

Prolegomena to the Study and Translation of Stylised Literary Text

Chapter 1. The Notions of Genre and Stylisation


The definition of stylisation was never the subject of a great debate among scholars as, for example, was that of genre. This situation may be accounted for by the fact that most scholars are unanimous in understanding and, consequently, in defining stylisation as a method of intentional reproduction of a particular artistic, social, or cultural material [43].

According to the Russian academician V.Vinogradov, the notion of literary stylisation appeared as a result of the Уinterest to the expressive overtones and stylistic differences, conditioned by the authorТs individual creativity or the original flavour of this or that cultureЕФ [25, p.544]. Mikhail Bakhtin wrote in this connection: Уstylisation comes from admiring the aesthetic perfection of another workЕ Stylisation in a focused way projects the stylistic peculiarities of the original text on the conceptually new materialФ [62, p.21]. Thus, the notion of stylisation involves, apart from purely linguistic aspects, also the social, and cultural sides.

A brief insight into the notionТs evolution history can be found in the book by the Polish literary critic S. Skwarczyńska УLa stilisation et sa place dans la science de la literatureФ: УThe word to styliseЕfirst meant Уto form something in the written formФ. This meaning still exists in the modern language, and implies the idea of polishing the content while writingЕBut during the 19th century the word stylisation becomes better definedЕTo stylise means to adjust consciously your style to the norms of a perfect, ideal style or a functional style. In this sense the word had spread widely by the end of the 19th centuryФ [58, p.170].

According to V.Troitsky, stylisation has presently come to mean Уan imitation of a modelФ, Уan imitation of the outward form and characteristic features of a style. It comprises at least two styles Ц Уa prototypeФ style, serving as a model (and always implied), and the one of an imitator or stylizer, which reproduces the source styleФ [58, p.169]. The aim of stylisation is to make the imitated style recognisable.

The Linguistic Encyclopaedic Dictionary singles out the following variations of stylisation: imitation (when the outward features of a style are being reproduced without any specially defined artistic purpose, when they organically merge with the authors individual style so that we no longer feel the difference between the imitated work and the imitation itself) [19, p.220]; and parody, when the characteristic features of a УprototypeФ style are intentionally УhypertrophiedФ aiming at ridiculing this style [52], [19, p.224].

However, there occur slight differences in terminology among scholars. Speaking of stylisation as of a Уgenus termФ, MariaVerbitskaya, for example, suggests using the term Уimitational genresФ for denoting parody, periphrasis, imitation, folk tale and so on [23, p.6].

Many scholars made stylisation a subject of their research on the Russian literature material. Among such works are the treatises by R. Helgard dedicated to the style of BazhovТs folk tales, articles on stylisation of speech by A. Alpatov. Mikhail Bakhtin in some of his books (УLiterature and Aesthetic IssuesФ is one of them) touched upon stylisation as well. Several pages of his book on F. DostojevskyТs poetics deal with the Уsecondary natureФ of stylisation (when a stylised text is perceived as something secondary in relation to the primary text), and the way this effect of Уsomething secondaryФ is created in the readerТs conscience.

The literary critic A. Yefimov in his book УStylistics of an Artistic SpeechФ suggests the following classification of stylisation types: historical, which involves the reproduction of speech of different epochs; genre stylisation, which involves the application of the means and methods of expression, characteristic of a certain genre and is based on the core of lexis and phraseology as well as sentence structure; and social-speech stylisation which aims at reproducing speech peculiarities of various social layers [30, p.95].

Although V. Troitsky criticizes YefimovТs classification and says that it does not include all types of stylisation, he offers no alternative classification.

Recently the interest to stylisation has somewhat increased. More works on stylisation and its types contribute to the development of this notion. Focussing on an Уimitational genreФ of parody, a product of stylisation, M. Verbitskaya in her doctoral thesis develops a theory of the Уsecondary textФ.

A recent thesis of Yu. Flyagina deals with the problem of УsequelsФ or УcontinuationsФ of the famous works of the English authors, such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. By applying the method of linguopoetic analysis[1] she tries to find out Уwhether there exists a minimum set of linguistic elements of the original text, sufficient for its successful stylisationФ [62, p.167]. The scholar suggests the idea that Уin elaborating stylisation, apparently, the primary role belongs to subconscious understanding and imitation of the speech structure of the imitated author at the level of simple rhythmical groups, their properties and alterationsФ [62, p.167].Finally she comes up with a number of requirements, or rather indispensable constituents of a successful stylisation, among which the most crucial for us are:


1)           minimum set of linguistic means, characteristic of the УoriginalФ text and rendered in stylisation;


2)           key composition elements important for creating associations (lexical parallels, alike phraseology, similar images);


As a general conclusion we may say that the notion of stylisation deserves more attention on the part of the scholars, and not only in terms of the possibilities of reproducing individual style of a particular author or speech peculiarities of a particular social layer. The idea of genre stylisation based on a certain literary tradition is no less exciting.


The notion of genre is related to the problem of correlation between the content and the form of a literary work. The matter has been widely discussed by the Russian and the foreign scholars during the last two centuries. Their studies gave rise to a variety of independent theories and concepts. It would not be an overestimation to say that every scholar in this field had his own understanding of genre, its transformation through literary epochs, methods of their classification. We can speak only of the very general similarities of their concepts and views regarding genre.

The first point of disagreement between the scholars comes when genre is regarded as a stable form of a literary work. The followers of the formalistic theory, U.N.Tynyanov, N.Pearson, R.Wellek, and O.Warren in their understanding of genre shared the idea that genre is Уa set of devices and rules, formal structure of the workФ [68, p.67]. Pearson was even more radical in his views; he stated the superiority of form over the content: Уthe very essence of the literary process is to create the formЕ The ultimate goal of an artist is to create the proper architecture; his creation in not the material, but the formФ [12, p. 63]. It appears that formalists paid little attention to the content of a work.

Tynyanov in his turn applied systematic approach to the problem of genre. He came to the conclusion that it is impossible to give any static definition of genre that would cover the entire concept. Genre reveals the tendency to transform. Finally the scholar refuses to regard genre as a stable type of a literary work.

An outstanding Russian scholar Mikhail Bakhtin, who has made a significant contribution to the development of the theory of genre, understands the term as a Уtypical form of the entire literary workФ [20,p.279]. He does not stand on formalistic position and sees genres not as combinations of formal devices, but as Уforms of seeing and realising certain sides of the worldФ [20, p.332].

Such diversity of views is understandable: when we deal with imaginative literature (viewed as an object literary criticism) it is often very difficult to talk of Уthe stableФ regarding the authorТs imagination and creative power. However, there is always a certain canon to be followed. Even the most original and unique work of art inevitably contains elements of the old, traditional together with the elements of the new and the individual. At this point the scholars agree on genreТs connection with historical time. In this respect, Tynyanov viewed genre as Уan element of the genre system of a certain period of timeЕ What was called an ode in the 20s of the 19th century Ц in LomonosovТs time was called so according to other characteristicsФ [68, p.67]. That means that with time genres may change the set of their characteristics due to the changes in literary process or historical environment.

Mikhail Bakhtin who emphasised genreТs historical aspect as well, later developed his idea still further: УDue to its nature, literary genre reflects the most stable, Уtime honouredФ trends of the literatureТs development. Genre always contains imperishable archaic elements. Those elements become preserved thanks to their constant renovation, so to say, modernisation. Genre is always the same and not the same, both new and old. Genre becomes reborn at each stage of the development of literature and in each individually created work of a particular genre. This is the genreТs life. GenreЕalways remembers its past. Genre represents creative memory in the process of literary developmentФ [19, p.122].

It is important that he also mentioned genreТs connection with a certain literary tradition: УEach new variety of genre, each new work, written within a certain genre, always enriches the genre, improves and perfects its language. Therefore, it is very important to know the probable genre sources used by an author, to know the literary atmosphere in which the work was being created. The more concrete contacts we reveal, the deeper we can penetrate into the peculiarities of his genre form and the better we understand the proportion of traditional and new in his workФ [19, p.183].

The next extralinguistic factor that determines genre is of a functional nature. It deals with the functional purport given to the text by the author. The author starts to write when he wants to say something to the world, share his ideas with the others. Whatever form of expression he chooses Ц is up to him, for it is for him to decide in what form his ideas would be best understood by his readers. Therefore, we can say that the genre of his work will not be picked up at random Ц but it will rather depend on the communicative purport, the task, which the author assigns to his work and tries to achieve in his writing. We can also call it the Уpredominant aesthetic qualityФ [cf. 68, p.18] as suggested by some scholars. In this sense the term would cover only literary texts, because in some functional styles the aesthetic function is not realised at all.

Since we talk of genres not only from the position of the theory of genres in literary criticism but from the point of view of functional stylistics as well, it would still be correct to speak of the communicative purport of the work as of a less specific term. It is widely understood that in fiction communication is mostly of aesthetic nature, i.e. creating meta-reality with the help of words. Non-fiction genres, however, apart from occasionally creating aesthetic scenes (in the stated meaning), can pass on authentic information, recommend or prohibit something.

The next important genre-determining factor is the notional one. If the text is a fairy-tale, for example, its characters are most likely to be unreal, imaginary creatures taking part in unreal, wonderful events. If we take the genre of a chronicle, it would give us an account of real events in chronological order with dates and quotes, recounted by a historian not always unbiased. In either case the content requires the use of the appropriate form, in which it best achieves the desirable effect. The notional layer is to a considerable extent predetermined by the authorТs individual perception of the world. Authors with similar views of the world may later establish schools or give rise to particular literary trends, cultivating particular genres or, on the contrary, inventing new ones, elaborating artistic methods, devices, and themes, which with time crystallise into characteristic traits of their literary trend or school.

Thus the notional layer, the communicative purport and the authorТs perception of the world constitute the subjective features that determine the genre of a literary work, while the historical period, literary trend and literary tradition can be referred to as objective ones.

In the 19-20th centuries the attitude to genres became rather complex. On the one hand, traditional genre structures, elaborated over many centuries, were still preserved. On the other hand, a writer felt free to use any form of personal expression, free to ignore any strict rules or already established canons.

There is a point of view that the boundaries of literary genres are becoming Уblurred if not absolutely destroyedФ. The authors tend to disregard strictly established genre structure. There appear the so-called new Уsynthetic formsФ of novels, poems, and plays which hardly fit any traditional genre [54, p.130, 131, 208 Ц 210].

It appears in fact that genre typology varies from an epoch to an epoch, from one scholar to another. However, it is possible to speak of a prevailing non-formalistic approach towards the problem of genres. According to this point of view genre is regarded not only as a relatively fixed set of certain artistic devices but also as a dynamic, changing, individual combination and transformation of those devices with frequent overlapping of the characteristics of one genre with those of another genre. In this sense genre is not a rigid, forever established form of expression but should rather be viewed as a flexible material for individual creativity and freedom of realisation. Genres merge; thus Уsynthetic formsФ appear. An author is allowed, so to say, to combine genres, "to clothe" the content into any form, according to his purport and view of the world.

So far we have concentrated mostly on the extralinguistic aspects of genres, such as the authorТs communicative purport, historical epoch, literary trend and literary tradition, and considered them from the point of view of literary criticism. But the notion of genre is also an object linguistic studies and is considered within the framework of stylistics.


According to V.Vinogradov and N.Kozhina, Уit would be right to differentiate among at least three spheres of stylistic research, which have a lot in common, very often overlapЕ but have, [in the final analysis] their own tasks, criteria, and categories. These are: linguistic stylistics or structural stylistics; speech stylistics, i.e. of various kinds and acts of social usage of the language; and stylistics of artistic literatureФ [24, c.5]. N.Kozhina defines stylistics of speech as the primary object of functional stylistics, a Уscientific trend, which studies the rules and ways linguistic means function in various kinds of speech, that correspond to certain spheres of human activity and communication; it also studies the speech structure of functional styles and the УnormsФ according to which linguistic means are chosen and combined in themФ [35, p.67].

Style is Уone of the variants of the language, or language subsystems, with its own vocabulary, phraseology, constructions and turns of speech, which differs from other variants of the kind mainly in the expressive and evaluative features of their elements, and usually associated with particular spheres of language usageФ [16]. The choice of a certain style is conditioned by the speaker's or writer's intention: whether he/she just wants to provide his readers with information, to convince them to act in a certain way or to impress them. Thus the choice of language (or, simply, of words, to quote Professor O.S.Akhmanova) will be determined by Уthe convention that a certain kind of language is appropriate for a certain useФ [2, c.5].

V.Vinogradov works out a system of functional styles on the basis of the functions the language fulfils. There are several theories concerning the number of language functions. Roman Jakobson singles out six of them: emotive, referential, poetic, phatic, metalingual and conative [1, p.46]. Kozhina criticises Jakobson, and writes: Уif one tried to classify functional styles according to those functions, they would not cover all stylistic divergences that we find in speechФ [35, p.18].

According to the theory of academician V.Vinogradov, there are three main language functions: communicative, intellective and aesthetic [24, p.6-8]. A functional style therefore would mean a variety of language based on the dominant functional linguistic peculiarities in a particular speech environment or sphere of social activity. According to V.Vinogradov there are six functional styles with respective language function fulfilled:


1.       the style of every-day communication
(communicative function);

2.       scientific style (intellective function);

3.       the style of official-documentation, or official style (intellective function);

4.       the style of every-day business communication
(communicative function);

5.       the style of journalism (the function of impact)

6.       the style of fiction (the function of impact).


The style of every-day communication is the one that is being used by all of us and all the time in informal, every-day situations. It can be characterised by a large freedom of choosing words and grammatical structures: an utterance may consist just of a rough minimum of linguistic elements, yet it should be sufficient for a successful communication between people. Scientific style is typically used in corresponding spheres of human activities: conferences, universities, scientific articles and debates, etc. Official style is used in court, in the sphere of diplomatic and business relations. Official letters, notes, agreements are composed in compliance with the rules and standards of the official documentation style. Journalistic style deals with topics related to politics, social life, and public opinion. The style of fiction is the one of literary art, and writersТ creative imagination. There is one УbutФ though, we can only speak about the predominance of a certain style in this or that area of social life; all categorical statements and divisions would have been too presumptuous.

A linguistic function is realised through the choice of particular words, word combinations and syntactic constructions. Thus for example, scientific style would rest on terms, "water-tight" definitions and logical argumentation. In such texts words are used mostly terminologically and their semantic scope is, naturally, "narrowed". Official style rests on the expression of the general concepts and ideas. Informal, colloquial words and expressions, Уslang wordsФ are typical of the every-day communication style.

The above-said however does not mean that the functional styles are always clearly and uncontroversially defined. A very important point to be made here is that in every style there would always be words realising everyone of the three functions, and the boundaries between the functional styles is very often blurred. In connection with this research it is also important to note that Уstyle-specificФ words (meaning those which play the role of "decorators", providing a specific emotional-expressive colouring) would constitute a relatively small percentage of a textТs vocabulary.

As for grammar and syntax Ц the use of certain forms and constructions varies from one functional style to another. For instance, the scientific style would often be characterised by direct word order; official style tends to use more stock phrases and clichés. However, some characteristic lexical-syntactic features of one stylistic register can be perfectly used in another.

Functional styles differ in degree of impact and emotionality. Emotional expressiveness is usually unnatural for the scientific style, and also unacceptable in the official style, but quite suitable in fiction and the style of journalism.

To sum up, each functional style has a definite field of usage, special vocabulary and terms, lexical arrangement, syntactic structure, the words of the general language and the main function it fulfils.

Following the principles described above, all texts can be further classed according to a particular genre. Linguist K. Reiss offers her theory of the text stylistics, according to which Уthere are text-genres (Textsorte)Е i.e. a class of verbal texts, with similar structure, variability range and usage in analogous contextsЕФ [4, c.11]. Genre variation of texts reflects the social norm, which defines the choice of linguistic means for the production of texts of this or that genre. Norms and conventions of a genre are very important. Together with stylistically УneutralФ words (i.e. those used in all genres) there are other lexical units, the usage of which is limited by specific genre boundaries. In speech these units are invariably associated with a particular genre or, otherwise stated, become "genre-specific". For example, scientific texts state universal truths. Therefore the forms of the Present Tense prevail in such texts. Subjunctive Mood forms, infinitive + modal verb constructions are used more rarely. The verb plays the primary role in the time structure of the scientific text. In terms of lexis scientific texts may employ a large amount of terms. All can be explained by the fact that such kinds of texts are built with the help of the Уstandard linguistic meansФ, conditioned by the logical and precise nature of these texts. In contrast with the strictly and clearly regulated features of scientific texts, the form of each text in fiction literature is unique, complex and multifarious. It involves composition, syntax, morphological means [53, p. 24]. The genre of a sonnet, for example, requires the observation of strict compositional rules: fourteen lines with the last two rhymed.

The differences between norms and conventions of a genre become especially striking when they cross the boundaries of languages and cultures [70, p. 33]. УAlong with the genres shared by all writing cultures, there are genres existing only in one culture (Japanese poetry genre khaiku, for exampleФ [70, p. 35].

In terms of linguistic variation genres can be УrigidФ (or УrestrictedФ) and УflexibleФ. In genres with strict, rigid rules Уthe laws of genre may lead, for instance, to a complete disappearance of the authorТs individual styleФ [53, p. 5]. The so-called УrigidФ genres include:

1)           among scientific and official texts: scientific articles and theses, reports, résumés, official letters, scientific experiments studies/analysis/descriptions, patents, and so on.;

2)           among publicity texts and diplomatic documents: front-page article, application, note, declaration, communiqué;

3)           in folklore: fairy-tale, ballad, УnonsenseФ poetry;

4)           in fiction: epigram, parody, УnonsenseФ poetry, ode, fable, aphorisms, detective story, science fiction (or the insertions of the technical sort of text into the core text), buffoon comedy (or insertions of that kind into the core text of a drama work).

To the УflexibleФ genres, those that are relatively free from restricting rules, belong:


1)      in scientific literature: fragments of discussion articles;

2)      in publicity texts: review, letter to the editor, essay, scientific-popular genres;

3)      in folklore: song;

4)      in fiction: all poetic, drama, and prose genres with the exception of those mentioned above.


Since the texts belonging to one and the same genre are likely to share common features, scholars suggested the notion of the Уgenre-stylistic dominant featureФ (already mentioned by K. Reiss), which is a dominant invariant characteristic of a certain genre, realized in the styles of all other texts of that genre. In other words, it is the УcoreФ, the principal features that determine a particular genre.This notion proved to be extremely useful in the sphere of translation. A writer and a translator M.Rylsky says: УЕif you translate a poet, whoТs main power is in rhythm and sounds, it is this main feature you should take care of, consciously sacrificing for its sake the logical train of his thoughts. Contrariwise, while translating a rational, "logical" poet, it is necessary to follow his logical line of expression, ignoring from time to time the rhythmical soundness and melodic effectФ [53, p.13]. Thus, by determining the genre-stylistic dominant feature in any original text we would be able to define the stable/unstable, compulsory/non-compulsory features for the translation of the text or for the analysis of a translated text. It would also be possible to determine what changes in the target text can be allowed from the point of view of the genre conformity and what changes may lead to the destruction of the original genre and stylistic whole of the source test.

It appears therefore, that a genre should be considered as a peculiar realisation of a particular functional style and is a relatively stable type of a text, characterised by a particular functional-linguistic orientation, sphere of use, and the choice of compositional, lexical, syntactic, and decorative elements.


A minute analysis of the lexical-syntactic set of a particular piece of writing undoubtedly helps to penetrate the secret world of thoughts and feelings. It is interesting to adduce in this connection Vladimir Nabokov's vision of literature. According to his doctrine, the only thing that matters in books is style. Morality and ideas are irrelevant. "Aesthetic bliss" is the sole objective. You should read not with your brain or heart but your backbone. A "telltale tingle between the shoulder-blades" signals true literary quality[2]. This is rather odd, of course, and yet contains a grain of wisdom, for "aesthetic bliss" definitely rests on words and word-combinations. In our specific case mystical world of religious and philosophical teachings, medieval literary traditions, and fascinating imagery of the Middle East was certainly expressed in the work of Kahlil Gibran through a careful selection of lexical units and syntactic-stylistic constructions. Let us briefly stop at this aspect of the problem and show how the application of "ideas" in work of verbal art scorned by Nabokov, could become one of the crucial factors in creating a specific "stylistic flavour".


In many of GibranТs biographies (like those by Jean Gibran and Kahlil Gibran, Joseph Sheban), there was a mentioning of a connection between the works of Gibran and the Oriental literary tradition including the Biblical one. However none of them explored the subject exhaustively. In order to prove that such a connection really existed we had to consult books devoted to the Sufi mystical teaching and the works of the famous medieval Arab and Persian poets.

The books by Idris Shakh, Inayat Khan, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri provided the general background of Sufism: its basic concepts and practices as well as facts about its followers of the past and present times. Idris Shakh, for example, expressed many of the Sufi concepts in allegories, the fact that already allowed drawing parallels between GibranТs УThe ProphetФ and Sufism. In his book УThe SufisФ he also provides insights into the history of European culture, stating, for example, that many medieval monastic orders and secret societies intrinsically originated from mystical and philosophical movements of the Middle East.

The parables and anecdotes he cites in his book contributed to a better understanding of Sufism as well as of the literary tradition that existed within Sufism. More parables and allegories could also be found in the books УThe Mirror of the PerfectФ, a collection of stories about wandering Sufis, in УThe Garden of EternityФ, a collection of Oriental aphorisms, and in УThe River of SayingsФ, a collection of aphoristic sayings compiled by L. Tiraspolsky.

The majority of traditional allegories and images were found in collections of translated poetry of the Arabic and Persian medieval as well as contemporary Sufis such as Rumi, Hafez, Saady, Attar, Nurbakhsh, Maghrebi and others.

All literature on Sufism mentioned above was rather of educational than of scientific nature. In order to find the scientific grounds that would support this paper we had to refer to the bulk of studies on the history and nature of Arabic and Persian literature. The books by P. Grintser, articles by foreign arabists D. Beaumont and M. Arkoun, as well as Encyclopaedia of Islam provided us with the information on the development and interaction of the European and Oriental literatures; the principles of the classical Arabic and Persian poetics were explored in the works by D. Frolov, O. Frolova, A. Kudelin, and R. Musulmankulov; the collections of the classical Oriental Уwisdom literatureФ, and poetry including, in the first turn, the aphorisms, parables, and poems of Rumi, Hafez, Saadi, Attar and others, provided justification of the scholarsТ statements. In the course of this study it became evident that since the Middle Ages the Middle Eastern literature has closely interacted with the European literature leaving a strong impact on the latter. Such was a conclusion, drawn in the article on Medieval Arabic Narrative by D. Beaumont. The author briefly describes the state of the fictional narrative in the Middle Ages, (or, to be more precise, states the absence of literature of such kind), and traces back the appearance of the first fiction work Ц a collection of stories, which later became known as Arabian Nights or 1001 Nights.

The work by P.Grintser provides a more detailed information regarding the influence of the Middle Eastern literary tradition on the Western literature.

A range of books on the essential elements of Oriental poetics, written by such scholars as D. Frolov, O. Frolova, A. Kudelin, R.Musulmankulov tell us about traditional Oriental images and symbols, themes, figures of speech, vocabulary, the principles of the classical Arabic versification, etc. Their research provided confirmation of our initial suggestion that, with the exception of the language, Gibran chose to write УThe ProphetФ in accordance with the principles of traditional Oriental poetics.

In this connection it is important to mention the work by V.Vinogradov УPushkinТs LanguageФ. One of the bookТs chapters reveals the poetТs methods of creating УOrientalФ and, particularly, УbiblicalФ flavour in a number of his poems. V.Vinogradov considers what linguistic characteristics and stylistic forms contributed to the recreation of the specific Уethnic and biblical spiritФ of PushkinТs poems [26, p.121]. Among them are the archaic grammatical forms such as the incomplete forms of adjectives: УнагФ, УмолодФ; particle УдаФ in imperative construction; extended chain of syntagms invariably connected by conjunction УиФ; limited number of subordinate clauses types with the conditional and time clauses prevailing; the use of biblical and literary archaisms associated with the elevated rhetorical style; traditional biblical or church phrasing Усень успокоень¤Ф, Устезею правдыФ, Удрожащей твариФ; biblical and Oriental symbols; etc.


The next category of books is dedicated primarily to the theory and practice of translation, and offers views on the problem of preserving the national, and historical colouring in a target text.

Outstanding scholars in the field of translation (A.Shveitser, V.Komissarov, L.Barkhudarov, K.Chukovsky, A.Fyodorov, I.Levy, A.Popovich) are unanimous in stating the necessity of preserving, and rendering the original stylistic, and expressive flavour of the source text. If this most important condition is ignored, the target text will inevitably lack the communicative effect, and aesthetic value of the original. It is important however, that the national (or historical, or cultural) flavour should not exceed the degree to which it is present in the original. The works of the authors mentioned above were no less important in terms of providing the descriptions of the basic methods of translation, stating the criteria for evaluating and choosing equivalents, showing ways of pragmatic adequacy assessment of the target text, and offering possible solutions to a number of the most common translation problems.


Chapter 2.Terminological Background


The Linguistic Encyclopaedic Dictionary gives the following definition of the notion of stylisation: УStylisation (from the French word stilisation derived from slyle) Ц is an intentional elaboration of an artistic narration in accordance with the principles of the language material organisation and the characteristic outward features of speech, typical of a particular 1) social environment; 2) historical epoch; 3) literary trend; 4) genre; 5) authorТs individual style Ц chosen as an object for imitationФ [43]. In other words, it is a consistent and intentional reproduction of the principle features of an artistic, social, or cultural material. In the dictionary by O.S.Akhmanova we find the following definition of the term: Уan imitation of a manner, or narrative style, etc. typical of some genre, social milieu, time in history etc., usually aiming at creating the impression of authenticityФ [16]. Stylisation is used for various artistic purposes: from recreating, for example, the life of a society in ancient times or description of a certain social layer, to writing parodies and satirical works.

From the previous chapter we learned that stylisation may be of different types, namely: historical, genre and the "social-speech" stylisation, and the one which emphasizes certain linguistic elements and devices, depending on the narratorТs purport. For example, historical stylisation usually requires the use of lexical-semantic and phraseological archaisms, outdated words; genre stylisation concentrates on the principles of composition and speech structure, basic methods of syntactic organisation of the imitated texts; social stylisation involves phonetic, lexico-phraseological, and syntactic peculiarities of the speech, characteristic of the imitated milieu.

The Dictionary of Literary Terms defines genre[3] as a form in which the three major genera of literature, i.e. epic narrative, lyrics and drama, find expression [52]. Epic genres are fairy-tale, novel, short story; drama genres are tragedy, comedy, etc. As a notion of the literary criticism, genre is always a unit of classification of literary works and the indicator of their traditional characteristic features, that favours aesthetic communication [see 68, p.13]. Within the framework of literary criticism the notion of genre is narrowed down and embraces only the bulk of literary texts. It is restricted to the area of fiction literature leaving out other sorts of texts, which exist in other spheres of human activities and are being created for other purposes.

Going back to what was said above about the relationship between functional styles and literary genres we could reconsider the latter concept from purely linguistic-stylistic point of view and suggest (unlike in many literary critical works) a vision of this notion that puts a much heavier emphasis on the linguistic side of it and on closer ties between the notional, decorative and purely linguistic aspects of the text.

We suggest this considerably broadened definition of genre with the sole aim of disclosing and afterwards proving practically the essence of genre stylisation, which surely would be impossible without this new vision of the well-established concept. Thus our own definition of the term genre runs as follows: a relatively stable form of a literary writing characterised by a particular: a) notional layer, b) composition; c) lexical-semantic structure, d) size, e) use of literary devices and decorative elements, predetermined by the set of notional parameters: 1) the work's communicative and aesthetic purport, 2) a historical epoch, 3) a literary tradition, 4) a literary trend and 5) the authorТs individual perception of the world. The former set of parameters shall be provisionally called genre-essentials while the second one Ц genre-determiners[4].

Having thus defined the notion of genre we do not find any great difficulty in defining the notion of genre stylization. Our definition of the term runs as follows: a deliberate reproduction in a new linguistic environment (text or utterance) of one or several genre features of the source text so as to create a stable emotional-expressive association between the two. It appears therefore that genre stylisation implies taking into consideration both the notional and the linguistic peculiarities of a text that have become recurrent through a relatively close relationship between genre-essentials and genre-determiners which are more or less regularly reproduced within a particular historical, cultural and socio-linguistic environment. A "styliser" may be content with just one or two genre features of an imitated work or all of them together. The only rule that has to be observed in this respect is that in order to attain the desirable effect, the author is to use linguistic means and devices to a degree sufficient for reproducing a desirable "aesthetic aura", socio-cultural and linguostylistic shade, for creating the aimed association, that does not necessarily become the central element in a new work's aesthetic organisation, but may play a purely decorative, emotional-expressive role, enhancing the poetic fulcrums of the new literary work. If a "styliser" does not use enough means, Уstylisation may be taken for the authorТs individual style, and parody Ц for a badly written workФ [19, p.215]. Whether the author succeeds in this task or not would of course be a matter of his good taste and personal aesthetic feeling.

It appears therefore that genre stylisation involves the linguistic, temporal, social and cultural aspects taken together. By applying the method of genre stylisation we can reproduce a text of a particular genre through the use of linguistic means (phonetic, lexical, syntactical, phraseological) that are typical of that genre.



Part II

Genre Analysis of УThe ProphetФ

Chapter 1.†† Notional Analysis


І 1 The Appearance of УThe ProphetФ


In 1923 Kahlil Gibran had his greatest work published in The United States Ц a set of poetic essays entitled УThe ProphetФ. Ever since that time the poem remains GibranТs most acclaimed work.

Kahlil Gibran was born in Lebanon in 1883. Among Arabic-speaking peoples he is widely regarded as the greatest writer of his time. He was a painter and a sculptor as well as a poet. He was often compared to Blake. For the last twenty years of his life he made the United States his home where he died in 1931.

Gibran spoke several languages, among which were English and Arabic. Gibran was always conscious of his origin. He was involved in the Arab émigré organisation, which promoted the publication of Arab writings to which he constantly contributed his own works, articles and essays. Although his Arabic poems received little praise from the Arab press, he never stopped writing in that language.

Gibran viewed himself as a Уspokesman of both the Arab and English worlds, a role whose difficulty he admittedФ. It is probably due to this reason that we find in УThe ProphetФ Oriental philosophical ideas, many characteristic features of the classical Arab poetry, and numerous reminiscences of biblical ideas and style together with the influence of both Oriental and Western philosophers, poets and mystics.

Gibran was encouraged to write in English by Mary Haskell, his sponsor, advisor, and the closest friend. It was Mary, who advised him to adopt English for УThe ProphetФ. Her face was an inspiration for the bookТs illustrations. The idea of УThe ProphetФ evolved out of a single story written by Gibran in Arabic. As he continued working on his Уisland manФ as Gibran called the embryonic chapters of the future best-seller, he more and more often referred to it as Уhis only real workФ, УHis bookФ. In his letters to Mary he mapped out the main idea and the form of the book: УIt is the prophetic form. That is the really great formЕI have taken Еaspects of life, and reduced each to its simple realityЕ Everything will be short. Your know I believe the realest books are short. How short Job is!Ф [5, p. 312].

Mary Haskell defined his style as Уa sort of universal English Ц the simplest structure, Сpure lineТ English, that he uses, in choosing the Bible styleФ. Gibran explained his attraction to that style: УThe Bible is Syriac literature in English words. /Е/ There is nothing in any other tongue to correspond to the English Bible. And the Chaldo-Syriac is the most beautiful language that man has made Ц though it is no longer usedФ [5, p. 313].

As for the poetic nature of his book, the author said himself: УI am not trying to write poetryЕ I am trying to express thoughts Ц but I want the rhythm and the words right so that they shanТt be noticed, but shall just sink in, like water into cloth Ц and the thought be the thing that registersФ [5, p. 315].

The only disagreement that Mary Haskell and Gibran had about the work concerned its title. Initially it was УThe CommonwealthФ, then УThe CouncilsФ and finally it was Gibran who came up with the final version of УThe ProphetФ. Mary never accepted that title and continued to call the book УThe CouncilsФ.

Eleven years have passed since the book was conceived in 1912 up to the date it was published in 1923. Since then УThe ProphetФ has been translated into more than twenty languages all over the world.


І 2 Historical Background


The 20th century was the time of the greatest literary utopias. It was also the time of experiments with verbal and visual arts. The science and technological progress advanced so rapidly that some began to worry about the forthcoming destiny of mankind. There was a growing uneasiness in the atmosphere, a premonition of the great disaster coming very near. That disaster finally struck the world in 1914 and left the European cultural heritage in ruin and ashes. World War I has instantly erased all social values. Decadence in all forms of art, the primary symptom of the emerging crisis, alongside with emotional emptiness, uselessness, and the Уdeath of all godsФ made nihilism the prevailing attitude in all forms of artistic expression. Thus modernism appeared as a reaction to the present state of things. This new literary trend included various trends, such as surrealism, avant-garde and many others. No matter to what extent each trend differed from others, their common point was the idea of absurdity of the world and decay of all human values.

Such was the atmosphere at the time, when Gibran began to tell one of his friends of an Arabic work he has been working on which he called Уmy island manФ Ц the seeds of his most famous book УThe ProphetФ. However it was only several years later, in October 1923, that the book came out of print with a very modest success in the US.

In time, when morality was shattered and human values lost their weight, Gibran takes upon himself the task of re-establishing those values and bringing this world and a personТs disoriented self to harmony and peace. Through the preaching of love his Prophet tells people of the things that they have known but forgotten and which Уeven now are moving within their soulsФ. Even as Messiah had come to save all the people at their worst hour, so has come GibranТs Prophet.

The choice of the genre of a sermon for the book is not surprising if we take into account the historical epoch, which constitutes one of the factors that predetermine the genre of a literary work. Gibran does not seek the salvation in new modernistic trends of verbal art, but traditionally turns to God, as to the only source of peace and hope for the people.


І 3 Literary Trend


In the course of his life Gibran was variously affected by multiple ideas but neither of them, it seems, had any positive influence on him. It is important to emphasise that the aspects he had borrowed from the world literature affected mostly his style, composition or language, but not ideas. They have always been his own and presented a curious blend of Christianity and Sufism. Gibran admitted himself that in terms of form and style УThe ProphetФ Уwas greatly influenced by УThus Spake ZarathustraФ, written by the German philosopher Friedrich NietzscheФ [I-net link 8]. In this respect it is interesting to cite here a piece of an article by Ellie Jabbor, who finds similarities between Gibran's "The Prophet" and NietzscheТs Zarathustra and also some of the motives discoverable in Walt WhitmanТs poetry:

УAlmustafa, Ц writes Ellie Jabbor Ц the main character in Gibran's book, is comparable to Zarathustra, the main character in Nietzsche's book. Zarathustra, who walks as a stranger among men, gives now and then of his wisdom before returning to the Happy Isles. Almustafa, in contrast, is also a stranger among men, but gives his wisdom in a series of twenty-six sermons.

In the beginning of the third part Zarathustra climbs a high mountain and says, УAh, this sombre you I must now go downФ. Almustafa, however, climbs a hill and says, УAnd you, vast seaЕshall I come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless oceanФ. Both characters ascended some type of protrusion of the earth, and address the sea below, before departing from their exile.

Both characters also address their friends before their departure. Zarathustra, bidding his disciples farewell says, УNow I do bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me, will I return unto youФ. Almustafa addresses his friends by saying to them: УBut should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then I will come againФ. In their farewell addresses, Zarathustra and Almustafa promise to return to their place of exile and to their friends. Though there are heavy similarities between the style and form of "The Prophet" and "Thus Spake Zarathustra", the books are different in their substance and imaginationФ [I-net link 8].

In terms of content Gibran certainly develops the mystical literary trend to which also belongs the famous English poet William Blake. George Nicolas El-Hage wrote in his article УKahlil Gibran and William Blake: Poets of Prophetic VisionФ: Уthe two poets shared a basic prophetic vision and apocalyptic view of the universeФ. For both the Bible Уwas an inexhaustible source of inspirationФ, both Уwere convinced that they were discovering a new truth about the human soul and that they were building a УGolgonoozaФ and an УOrphaleseФ respectivelyФ [I-net link 4].

Being for some time a member of the Maronite sect, formed during the schism in the Byzantine church in the 5th century AD and made up of a group of Syrian Christians, Gibran sought to unite various religious sects, in a bid to abolish the religious snobbery, persecution and atrocities witnessed at his time [I-net link 2].

However, he breaks up with the sect some time later. This biographic fact illustrates the point that Gibran had Уhis own religion of the heartФ, which he considered to be the Уdoor to ParadiseФ. We believe that in his writings Gibran was trying to unveil this mystical, unknown side of human existence.

Ellie Jabbour supports the idea that Gibran continued the mystical literary trend by saying: УGibran rejected the atheistic philosophies of Nietzsche and accepted the reality of a benevolent and harmonious universe, as did Whitman. "Mysticism is one of the main, pervasive elements in "The Prophet" and in "Song of Myself".

УBoth works Ц she continues Ц are about their author, but do not follow a strict autobiographical pattern. Gibran and Whitman both believe that their souls tend to be fused with other selves. Their lives become a part of the lives of their friends. The works are more of a journal of a soul, rather than the way of all souls. "The Prophet" and "Song of Myself" can be described as dramas, with the poet playing the leading role. Almustafa, the prophet searching for answers, is like WhitmanТs bard who, "Еloafs, invites his soul, and chants, СA call in the midst of the crowdТ with a Сvoice, orotund sweeping and finalТ". In both works, the poet enters a mystical state. He then travels through different stages, until he comes out of that state. In these stages, the poet has mystical experiences. These experiences are the base of the "sermons" given by the poetsФ [I-net link 8].

We are going neither to agree with what has been said about the ideological influences on GibranТs mind, nor to reject it. What really matters to us, is that our suggestion to regard Gibran as a mystical writer following a prophetic tradition finds confirmation in other sources. The genre of a sermon, which we regard as the basic genre of the bookТs Уsynthetic formФ, has also been mentioned by Jabbor.

We may conclude at this point that Gibran followed the mystical literary trend, introducing the themes and plot elements used by other authors. To put it metaphorically, Gibran drew threads from the other peopleТs beliefs and wove a cloth of his own philosophy.


І 4 Literary Tradition


A literary work of art distinguishes itself from all other texts by the fact that it gives freedom to the readerТs imagination, allowing him/her to fancy and admire every remarkable idea or image the author offers to them. But in some cases the images are not new, the words are quite simple and ordinary, yet we canТt help admiring what we read.

The imagery of a literary work is usually a unique product of the authorТs individual creativity within the confines of that work. But authors may not necessarily create everything by themselves. To achieve the ultimate aesthetic goal, they are free to use allusions, borrow and interpret images that have been created a long time ago. In the following paragraph the core allegories and images of the Oriental Sufi teaching are linked to the images of GibranТs book, thus confirming the idea of a very strong influence of Sufism as well as ancient Oriental poetic tradition on the content, composition, and imagery of УThe ProphetФ.

Most literary critics emphasize the importance of connection of literary genre with literary tradition [cf. 19, p.183]. Genres reflect a particular tradition and preserve, more or less, the characteristics, established and maintained by this tradition over centuries. A literary tradition surely depends not only on time but on the culture as well. In this respect it is interesting to trace the influence of the Oriental, and particularly Arabic literary tradition on GibranТs writing, a tradition that was not the least to determine genre peculiarities of УThe ProphetФ.

The early development of Arabic literature was accompanied by the development of Islam. There existed a rich poetic tradition in pre-Islamic Arabia. But everything this tradition produced had been preserved in oral form up to the late eighth and early ninth centuries, with one exception, perhaps: the Qur'an is the only text which scholars know to have existed in some written form in the century after the death of Muhammad (peace be upon him) in 632 AD.

Fictional narrative or fictional genres did not exist in Arabic and Syrian literatures in the Middle Ages. To cite Daniel Beaumont, an arabist and a literature researcher, Arabic literature was a Уliterature of hard factФ. УThat which never happened was simply a lieФ [cf. I-net link 7]. M.Arkoun writes: УThe Qur'an contributed to this weakening of artistic imagination with its attacks against Сthe poets whom the erring follow, who wander in every valley and who say what they do not doФ. This, perhaps, is one of the reasons why theological and philosophical traditions were so strong in Arabic literature. It basically rested upon them. The outcome of the theological and philosophical thought was a vast body of such writings, a few centuries later zealously collected and translated by many outstanding figures of the Renaissance.

The next novelty that Europe borrows from the East is the principle of the Уframe compositionФ, that is when one or several people tell the stories they have either heard of or witnessed themselves. The УBook of SyndbadФ and similar collections (1001 Nights, for example) made European literatures follow this principle where the content was variously interspersed with tales in conformity with the local narrative tradition and literary heritage [cf. 27, p.17]. Gibran follows the principle of the Уframe compositionФ which is very similar to the composition of NietzscheТs УThus Spake ZarathustraФ.

Speaking of the religious or theological character of the Middle Eastern literature, we can hardly ignore the fact that an enormous part of it reflected the ideas of various mystical teachings, particularly of Sufism.

Religious nature of many Middle Eastern writings conditioned the development of didactic literature (very similar to the Greek one), such as instructions to the young, a teacherТs conversations with his disciples and the like.

Didactic treatises and Уwisdom literatureФ genre stand very close to each other, the latter being very traditional and widely spread in the East. Its heyday falls on the Middle Ages and can be traced back as far as the 8th Ц 13th centuries AD. To this genre we can refer various writings in Farsi and Arabic by Oriental philosophers and poets, thinkers and religious figures such as: Ibn Sinna (or Avicenna) (circa 980 Ц 1037), Abu-al-Faradge (1226 Ц 1286), Attar (circa 1119), Jami (1414 Ц 1492), Nizami (circa 1141 Ц 1209), Omar Khayam (circa. 1048 Ц 1122), Al-Ghazali (1058 Ц 1111), Rudaki (circa. 860 Ц 941), Rumi (1207 Ц 1273), Saadi (1203/1210 Ц 1292), Ferdowsi (940 Ц 1020), Hafez (circa. 1325 Ц 1389) and many others.

УWisdom literatureФ genre presupposes that some moral or a wise statement would be expressed either in the form of a parable, allegorical poem, aphorism, short story, saying, didactic poem or a treatise. УWisdom literatureФ genre Уshares with the reader the knowledge gained over a long period of time through learning and experienceФ [53, p.6]. Having the epic character, Уwisdom literatureФ genre carries out the didactic function.

The Arab love lyrics also reflected the ideas of Sufism, and had a deep influence on troubadours of Spain and Province and on the poets of the Уdolce stylle nuovaФ in Italy as well. The fact that Arabic motives and the general tone of Arab lyrics are very close to the themes and tone of the European courteous poetry, has generated a hypothesis according which the latter had originated directly from the former [cf. 27, p.18].

The close relation of the troubadoursТ and minnesingersТ verses not only to the Arabic but also to the Persian Sufi lyrics is a clear evidence of their close interaction [cf. 27, c.18; cf. 34, p.363].

Literary research shows that Oriental stylistics, images and the basic principles of the Oriental poetics entered Western literature closer towards the beginning of the 19th century [27, p. 22], while the ideas of the East, be it science or philosophy, theological thoughts or poetry, had penetrated the Western culture long before that date.

Speaking of Уwisdom literatureФ, we mentioned that it typically expresses certain ideas in forms of allegories and metaphors. In the English literature the tradition of encoding the meaning in the form of an allegory goes back to Alexander Pope, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and others Ц a relatively recent tradition if compared to the Oriental literature.

The poets of the Middle East concentrated almost entirely on religious and philosophical subjects. People of European mentality often misinterpreted generalisations presented in the form of poetic images in the works of Oriental writers, being absolutely unaware of the fact that beneath that which is seemingly obvious lied something that for some purpose was concealed by the author.

As we look closer at Kahlil Gibran's work, we realise that the origin of his images and the interpretation of "The Prophet" do not fit into the framework of just one literary tradition. However, while we read his poetry we feel that there is something unusual about it; there is more beneath it than a mere desire to be original and rhetorical.Traditionally an allegorical writing would have a great potential for communicating multiple shades of meaning and emotional-expressive connotations. Gibran's ideas and the manner of his writing are not at all transparent for the reader. The poet has rediscovered new possibilities for the realisation of his literary talent in traditional Oriental metaphorisation. Rumi, Hafez and Saadi, the great Oriental poets and followers of Sufism, used well-established images and traditional Sufi metaphors and comparisons. Gibran's images are very much the same. Beneath the veil of the seemingly obvious semantic concepts lies a mysterious tradition of many centuries old.Sufism is not just a religious doctrine. It is rather a way of thinking, a way of living and a mystical teaching. It first appeared on the territory of the present day Islamic countries (Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia). Sufism's basic intention is to discover the Truth through Love and devotion. The key Arabic metaphor of Sufism is the Path (Tariqat in Arabic) Ц Spiritual Path to God. Since only one who is perfect is capable of seeing the Truth, Sufis believe the only way to become perfect is to purify oneself under the training of a perfect Sufi Master. Spiritual purification means the ability to get rid of the human sinful "self", become "empty" and to get filled with Love. Thus the Sufi's ultimate goal is "to dissolve" completely in God.

Things that are common for all the world's major religions are found in the Sufi teaching. A parable from the book of an outstanding Persian Sufi poet Rumi may vividly illustrate the previous statement: a Persian, a Turk, an Arab and a Greek wanted to buy grapes. But as they called it differently in their native tongues, they could not come to an agreement what to buy. Religions may have different names, but their essence remains the same. Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan says:


УThe Sufi message does not call a person away

From a belief or church, it calls one to live itФ


Another Sufi master Ibn Arabi writes:УMy heart has become capable of [taking] every form:It is a pasture for gazelles,And a monastery for Christian monks,And a temple for idols, And the pilgrimТs KaТba, And the tablets of the Torah, And the Book of the QuТran.I follow the religion of Love:Whatever way LoveТs camel takes,That is my religion and my faithФ.УPoets were the main disseminators of the Sufi thought, and the respect they enjoyed was equal to the one deserved by the Уlearned menФ of Ireland in the early Middle Ages. They employed a similar secret language of metaphors and verbal code. The Persian poet Nizami wrote: УThe key to the treasury is in the mouth of a poetФ. The secret language stood on guard of the Sufi way of thinking, shared only by those who understood it, and also secure from accusations of heresy or disobedience to the city authoritiesФ [34, p.9].A Sufi poet pursues two goals. One Ц is to encode his poetic lines in such a way that the surface images would conceal reliably the mystic knowledge from the uninitiated Ц in this case his verses resemble fables and his witty morals are easily understood.The poetТs second goal is to provide an integral allegoric vision of the Truth, which allows an in-depth reading. Those who wish to see will be able to see the deeper sense, those who look for entertainment, and simple truths, and advice for everyday life will too find what they want. In this connection it is interesting to remember a biblical prophet Isaiah who saw God with his "unclean eyes" and was purged by a Seraphim and was ordered by God to speak in parables, so that those who want to see the Almighty would not do it easily, but only through an intense intellectual effort and empathy with the author while interpreting the parables. Echoing him, Jesus said at the end of his parable of a sower: "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Mt 13:9).

A careful comparison of Gibran's "The Prophet" with the core Sufi imagery found in the works of outstanding Masters of the Path reveals a very close association between them. "The Prophet" starts with the words: "Al-Mustafa... had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth...". The plot of the "Prophet" is based on the Sufi metaphor of the ship [cf. 34,p.26], that carries people across the sea from one island (their temporary shelter), to their homeland. Experienced sailors and captains, who had once visited the homeland, returned to guide the others. They also take the burden of building ships and instructing the passengers before the voyage. The homeland embodies the ultimate goal of Sufism, the spiritual and physical unity with the Creator. The sailors and shipbuilders, the mediators between the secret Truth and this world, stand for Sufi teachers or prophets. The art of shipbuilding is the method or the way to reach the goal.

УYour journey ends in your homeland.Remember, that you travel from the seeming worldto the real one,ФЦ writes a Sufi [56].GibranТs prophet is about to fulfil the same goal. He is ready to start a sea-journey together with the Уmen of his own landФ. In this sense his allegory undoubtedly lies within the Sufi poetic tradition.Let us now take another example from his book: "When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?"The Persian poet Rumi wrote in the 13th century:We are as the flute, and the music in us is from thee;we are as the mountain and the echo in us is from thee.The metaphor of a flute explains why the Sufi rejects his "ego". He needs to free himself from the burden of individual "self" in order to get filled with Love for the divine. The Prophet compares himself with a "flute through which passes the breath of the Creator" or with a "harp, touched by the hand of the Mighty".

The Sufi rejects his negative УselfФ, his УegoФ, and through this self-denial comes to the realisation of his divine nature and purifies his heart to such an extent that through his Love becomes completely dissolved in God [cf. 55]. Saadi said: УDetach yourself from all for the Love of One; maintain a hundred things for the sake of OneФ. УSufi is not present in himself, but he is present in GodФ, said Hudgrivi. The Sufi can thus be compared to a reed that is hollow inside Ц through itТs Уheart the whispering of the hours turns to musicФ. Kahlil Gibran, Rumi Ц almost all Sufi poets used the image of a flute in their philosophical verses [see 60]:


Hearken to the reed-flute, how it complains,

Lamenting its banishment from its home:


"Ever since they tore me from my osier bed,

My plaintive notes have moved men and women to


I burst my breast, striving to give vent to sighs,

And to express the pangs of my yearning for my



'Tis the fire of love that inspires the flute,

'Tis the ferment of love that possesses the wine.

The flute is the confidant of all unhappy lovers;

The flute tells the tale of love's bloodstained path,


Did my Beloved only touch me with his lips,

I too, like the flute, would burst out in melody.


J.Rumi УMasnaviФ


Rumi writes that the flute cries for the reed for it was cut from it and turned into an instrument [50]. Saadi uses a similar image of a wax candle which cries for honey [45]. This is an allegory of a Sufi longing for the reunion with God.

The allegorical images of Beloved, and Lover are also taken from the Sufi tradition. Previously we have mentioned that the Arab love lyrics produced a considerable effect on the European love poetry in the 9th Ц 13th centuries [34, p.363]. But as different from European poets Arab writers filled their love poems with mystical implications. The beautiful Leila was not just a woman, who made her lover complain of her cruelty and suffer from his love anguish. Leila is the embodiment of God and a poetТs love for her Ц his love and longing for God. The allegorical images of the Beloved (either a woman or a man) or Lovers symbolise God and a Sufi seeking reunion with the Almighty. In this respect, the Sufi poetic tradition coincides with the biblical one (the most vivid example of which is the УCanticlesФ or the Song of Solomon). The Marriage of the two becomes the symbol of the Ultimate Union with the Creator.

Here is what writes Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi:


May these vows and this marriage be blessed.

May it be sweet milk,

This marriage, like wine and halvaЕ

(translated from Persian by Kulliyat-i-Shams)


If your beloved had the life of a fire

step in now and burn alongЕ

(translated from Persian by Nader Khalili)


Detach yourself from all for the love of one;

Maintain a hundred things for the sake of One.



If you are not with your Beloved, why arenТt you seeking?

And if you are together, then where is your joy?


Compare these images with GibranТs lines:


УAnd what is to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with the threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seed with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruitФ (On Work).

The metaphor of wine or the juice of grapes, squeezed by the winepress, stands for the essence of the Sufi teaching Ц for the Truth and Love. The juice of the grapes is the "wine" of Sufism [cf. 34, p.49]:"I am too a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress. And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels," Цsays the Prophet putting in this beautiful image the idea of a Sufi's life. Wine is the Truth, the sacred sense of the Sufi teaching, pure Love and devotion for God. Sufi drinks wine, drinks of the eternal Truth and becomes "drunk" with Love. The same motives can be found in the Sufi poetry:The Lovers,we drink wine night and day.*They will drink until they canTear away the veils of intellect andMelt away the layers of shame and modesty.When in Love,Body, mind, heart and soul donТt even exist. Become this,Fall in Love, And you will not be separated again.J. Rumi [39]

It is also worth mentioning that the QuТran prohibits consumption of wine, but in the Sufi poetry a metaphoric "intoxication" with the wine of Love acquires an allegoric meaning associative with an ecstatic experience of faith through Love to God.

Metaphors of the Ocean and the Sea are also extremely important for the Sufi poems. They reflect the ancient tradition of many world cultures, for they thought it to be the source of every form of life.Gibran's Prophet says: "The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark... And you, vast sea, sleeping mother, who are alone peace and freedom to the river and the stream ... and then I shall come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean". Comparing it with the following lines, we clearly see a connection between the two quotations.Love rests on no foundation.It is an endless ocean,With no beginning or end...All souls have drowned in it,And now dwell there...J.Rumi [I-net link 5]In Sufism the Ocean is associated with the ultimate goal of teaching, the moment of reunion with the Creator: a Sufi disappears in the infinite. The traces of the feet lead to the Ocean's coast.Then there are no more traces.J.Rumi [int. link 5]


УIf Ocean is the whole, then part is a drop. Sufi cannot witness the Ocean through the dropТs eye. The drop has to come to the Ocean and behold the Ocean through the OceanТs eyeФ [cf. I-net link 6].

A similar interpretation of a Sufi water image runs as follows: believing in God may be compared to a stream that flows towards the sea (the ultimate goal of Sufism), accelerating its speed, increasing its power, and growing in width. Brooks and streams join the main flowing mass of water. At the end nothing can stop the rushing flow in its way towards the Ocean, reunion with God, Love, and Truth [cf. 60].

The water theme receives further development in the following lines:

Everything other than love for the most beautiful God is agony of the spirit, though it be sugar-eating. What is agony of the spirit? To advance toward death without seizing hold of the Water of Life.

J. Rumi УMasnaviФ


The spiritual tradition resembles deep waters that hide themselves beneath the earth, and wash only those roots that are long enough to reach them [cf. 60].


Although one cannot drink the whole ocean,

One should drink up to his capacity.


Seek, no matter what your situation may be.

Oh, you, who is longing, seek for the water.

Time will come at last, when you will find the spring.

J. Rumi


Another crucial allegory in GibranТs work is the allegory of a dream or a sleep that possess all humans, those who do not strive for their inner spiritual Perfection and Enlightenment. They are Уblind to see the highest Truth, whereas the Sufis are blind to ordinary things and daily concerns of the peopleФ [cf. 34, p.13]. The Sufi УsleepsФ when others struggle for better life in the material world and he is УawakeФ when others sleep. In other words, he is Уspiritually alertФ. With this understanding in mind, GibranТs words become clearer as the seeress Almitra addresses the prophet:


УIn your aloneness you have watched with our days, and in your wakefulness you have listened to the weeping and the laughter of our sleep.Ф


The meaning of other places in the book becomes more evident as well:


УAnd his soul cried out to them, and he said: Sons of my ancient mother, you riders of the tides,/How often have you sailed in my dreams. /And now you come in my awakening, which is my deeper dreamФ

(The Coming of the Ship)


УMuch of you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,

But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for his own awakeningФ

(On Crime and Punishment)


УNo man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledgeФ

(On Teaching)


Thus dreaming and sleeping are opposed to awakening and wakefulness.

The idea of silence is another principal notion of the Sufi teaching (also shared by the powerful monastic orders in medieval times). Silence accumulates the human bodyТs resources, enhances meditation abilities, and prevents people from wasting words for silly purposes, helps to avoid contradictions and useless disputes. УSilence gives relaxation to mind and body; it puts you at ease and heals you. The power of silence is enormous, and not only in terms of generating and saving energy and vitality: man profits from keeping silenceФ [66, p.271]. Rumi said:


УBe silent, for itТs question and answer that plague insightФ. УThere are many ways to reach inspiration, but silence is the best among them.Ф

[66, p.273]


The proof of those statements can be found in the examples of the old Persian poetry:


ЕThou and I, with no УThouФ or УIФ, shall become one through our tasting;

Happy, safe from idle talking, Thou and IЕ

J. Rumi


Еah, I better keep silence, I know, this endless love

Will surely arrive for you, and you, and you

J. Rumi

Gibran echoes this idea by saying:


УOnly when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed singФ (On Death).


The allegory of Veils and Covers is the last to be mentioned here.These images stand for something in the way between God and man; something that prevents man from approaching God. Gibran echoes this idea:


УBut speechless was our love, and with veils has it been veiledФ

(The Coming of the Ship).


Your Essence is constantly both hidden and apparent through me,

For I am your veil, and I am your cloak as wellЕ



Gibran uses a similar image of the city surrounded by walls. Thus he describes obstacles on the way to the Truth: Уa little longer shall your city walls separate you from your fieldsФ. The Prophet Уclimbed the hill without the city walls, and beheld his shipФ. A similar image can also be found in RumiТs famous poem УMasnaviФ.

All these images have entered the Sufi poetic tradition a long time ago. They became symbolic and easily recognisable. Found in GibranТs work, they indicate that the work heavily relies on the Sufi tradition. His key images of a ship, sea voyage, Beloved, flute and wine coincide with the basic Sufi images and reflect the Sufi vision of the world.

Some images in the Sufi tradition are identical, for example, to the biblical ones. Gibran, for instance, uses the images of the vineyard УI too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepressФ compare with the lines from the book of the prophet Isaiah (Is 5:1 Ц 5:7) УЕFor the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plantЕФ; Beloved: УAnd what is it to work with love?ЕIt is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruitФ, bread УAnd then he [Love] assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for GodТs sacred feastФ, root УAnd if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the axe unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots; And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earthФ compare with УAnd now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fireФ (Mt 3:10), and sower: УIf this is my day of harvest, in what field have I sowed the seeds, and in what unremembered seasons?Ф compare with the biblical parable of a sower: УЕBehold, a sower went forth to sowФ (Mt 13:3). The image of the north wind is also characteristic of the Oriental poetic tradition. In УThe ProphetФ: УThough his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the gardenФ; УIt was the north wind who has woven the clothes we wearФ. In the Bible: УAwake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into the garden and eat his pleasant fruitФ (Song 4:16).



Another category of images to be mentioned are the authorТs own creations Ц individual images and metaphors. Some of them are based on analogy with traditional Sufi poetry. The prophet says:

УAm I a harp that the hand of the mighty may touch meЕФ, Уa lanternФ lit by the hand of the Creator . Parallels can be drawn with the image of a У fluteФ pierced by the УbreathФ of the Creator.

The image of a well Уfrom whichЕlaughter risesФ and Уwhich was oftentimes filled withЕtearsФ is created by analogy with the metaphor of a vessel, house, or temple as a human body, a man:


УFor his [friendТs] soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered. When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no moreФ

(On Friendship)


Other metaphors based on Oriental tradition include metaphors of the fountain and the fruit tree (a spiritual teacher fills the cups of the thirsty and gives of his fruits to the hungry), of an Archer (УThe archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with his might that His arrows may go swift and farФ), of the scales Ц human soul empty for God to fill it (УVerily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty Ц are you standstill and balancedФ), of the Potter (Уthe cupЕhas been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tearsФ).

The last category of images worth mentioning in connection with the subject of this paper includes universal images and personifications, such as the symbol of the rising phoenix, borrowed from the Egyptian mythology:


Уand let it [soul] direct your passion with reason, that your passion may love through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashesФ

(On Reason and Passion),


or a Buddhist symbol of lotus


Уthe soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petalsФ

(On Self-knowledge).


This mingling of ideas and symbols accounts for GibranТs wish Уto balance the East and the West influencesФ. He admitted: УI know now that I am part of the whole Ц a fragment of a jarЕNow IТve found out where I fit, and in a way I am a jar Ц and the jar is IФ.



І 5 Communicative Purport


As we have already mentioned in Part I, GibranТs attempt to re-establish human values was partly a reaction to the deep spiritual crisis which he, being an artist and a sensitive man, must have felt very acutely even in the economically successful America. People were Уsearching for reassurance and answers to the perplexing questions about lifeФ, writes Donald Adams, Ц Уthat quest had been so widespread and so intense that scores of inferior books, offering pat and easy answers almost turned the word УinspirationalФ into a dirty one. But we can easily describe УThe ProphetФ by that adjective, and not in derogatory sense, for it contains that scarce value, wisdomФ [I-net link 2].

For the Prophet people Уlaugh in sleepФ and Уstand with their backs to the sunФ. His aim is to disclose their souls to themselves, to prompt them to УawakeningФ, and Уto urge them to seekФ. To seek God through Love and Devotion as a wax candle craves for his honey and a flute cries for the reed.

In the language of almost УBiblical majestyФ the prophet speaks to the troubled and uncertain men and women about fundamental things Ц those, which are a part of any human life: love, giving, food, work, sorrow, beauty, religion and so on. Like most wisdom, most of what he has to tell them is ancient. УThere are echoes of Jesus here, as there must be in any ethical writing that came after Him, and echoes of the Old Testament, but on it all there is also the imprint of a rich and unusual personalityФ [I-net link 2].

Gibran offers no quick recipes to happiness, no Уeasily mastered formulae for successful livingФ [I-net link 2].Essentially, he bids the reader look closely into his/her own heart and mind, for he knows what teaching is:


УNo man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth".


At a time when too many people seek to be relieved of the burden of thinking and judging for themselves, Gibran encourages to begin that quest. In a world that is occupied with trying to understand the young and with building theories about their training, it is well to have Gibran say of children:


УYou may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls.

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

In a time when all are obsessed with their self-knowledge, it is well to be reminded:

УAnd seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truthФ.


To conclude with his own words: УThe whole Prophet is saying one thing: Сyou are far, far greater that you know Ц and all is wellФ. In such a majestic form, making his prose sound like poetry and music, Gibran leads the reader Уto the threshold of his own mindФ.



Chapter 2.Linguistic Analysis


It has become nearly a truism that style (or otherwise stated, choice and arrangement of words) is one of the most crucial factors in creating a desirable aesthetic effect. Very often we hear such phrases as Уthis author has a unique and unmistakable styleФ or УitТs written in the wrong styleФ. Obviously enough, it is not sufficient to choose "the right" words (les mots justes). One must also know and see with "his mind's eye" how to put the words together in such a way that the form of writing would be conducive to the expression of the author's idea with utmost precision. Each genre within a particular functional style presupposes (apart from a careful selection of words) that much attention should be paid by the author to the text's syntactic structures or rhythmical patterns which, as it often happens, predetermine in the final analysis the essence of a particular genre and its stylistic colouring (or "flavour" in our metaphoric sense, i.e. something which forms the basis of the subsequent attempts by other authors at stylizing the text in question).

This chapter is devoted to the analysis of the ways the author makes use of the English poetic syntax and recurrent rhythmical patterns to fulfil his peculiar "linguo-aesthetic" design. Besides we are trying to reveal the text's lexical and syntactic features proving indisputably a close aesthetic relationship between УThe ProphetФ and the old Oriental poetic tradition.


І 1 Defining the Genre


УThe ProphetФ belongs to the functional style of fiction. Preliminary acquaintance with the book suggests that we can refer УThe ProphetФ to more than one genre: particularly, to the genres of Уwisdom literatureФ and the genre of a sermon.

Previously we have mentioned that genres had developed the so-called Уsynthetic formsФ, i.e. when the elements of one genre can be successfully enough employed within the framework of a text that belongs to another literary genre: thus the genre of science fiction finds itself somewhere between the scientific functional style and the style of fiction [cf. 53, c.272]. Another good example of a synthetic genre form is the Bible, where dozens of literary genres like a parable, a fable, a chronicle, a historical narrative, etc. appears to be unified by a bigger genre form Ц epic narration [cf. 38].

The genre of "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran can also be called a Уsynthetic formФ of several genres. First of all, it has obvious traits of the Уwisdom literatureФ genre, which are ostensibly felt already on the level of the plot: among the subjects, connected with the common, every-day life of people, such as houses, eating and drinking, clothes, there are subjects that can be referred to as eternal, universal, like those oflove and death, time and knowledge, prayer and religion. In GibranТs book even the most trivial, every-day objects are used for allegoric purposes and are masterfully woven by the writer into the fabric of epic narrative.

Another distinctive feature that allows us to consider "The Prophet" as an example of an epic synthetic genre is that all events, though there is not much action going on, take place, as it seems, within one day. Time is not very important except when it is said that the main character had to wait for his ship for many years. Time seems to be frozen, everything is as if suspended in time.

AlmustafaТs short speeches resemble short sermons. He is the teacher, and Уthe people of OrphaleseФ are his disciples. They call him УMasterФ. Among the basic traits of this genre are: aphoristic effect of his sayings, allegorical character of many images that Almustafa uses, epic character of the subjects he touches upon and the general solemn tone of his speeches. Certain degree of didacticism is also present but the didactic communicative function does not realize itself to the full. It is supposed to be there by the law of the genre but becomes obliterated by the general poetic tone of the narration.

Sermon is predominantly an oral genre Ц it presupposes oral performance, though it is most often composed in the written form before being read in front of an audience. Its main linguistic functions are those of communication and impact. The ultimate goal is usually to persuade, to produce some strong emotions, influence a personТs opinion or state of mind, and thus to turn his life for the better. In terms of participants of communication Ц there are two sides to it, viz. a priest (for it is the priest who usually reads sermons) and his audience, his flock.

Usually composition of a sermon is not very complex; there should be a certain key subject or a key problematic statement that serves as a background for further development and interpretation. The statements and conclusions the speaker makes are to be confirmed by the quotes from reliable sources, usually of religious nature, or by any other proof that appears to be proper in this context.

After the subject had been developed, the speaker makes the final conclusion and calls the public to follow his instruction. The genre employs many rhetorical devices, the most recurrent of which are solemn addresses to the listeners УPeople of OrphaleseЕФ, rhetorical questions УFor what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And what is fear of need but need itself?Ф and so on.

Words of a priest (or a prophet) are supposed to inculcate reverence and result in obedience. The importance of the message is emphasised through the use of formal, archaic and literary words, which still should be understandable by even the least educated audience. Therefore the words of the general vocabulary would prevail over the formal and literary words.

Another very important condition that is to be observed in the literature of that kind is references to reliable sources. Since УThe ProphetФ is a Уsynthetic formФ, it does not have to and does not always follow the rules of the sermon genre. Gibran does use quotes but introduces them in a very subtle way. The quotes and the text are an organic whole.

Other crucial rhetoric devices used in the book are parallelism and contraries. By means of parallel constructions Gibran creates particular rhythm within one line or between several lines. It also helps to clarify a certain idea through repeating it in different words.

GibranТs narrative is very poetic. The text abounds in various figures of speech and poetic lexis creating the general effect of euphony and sumptuousness. Robin Waterfield in his introduction to a collection of GibranТs Arabic writings states that Уhe [Gibran] and others, such as Ameen Rihani developed the prose poem as an Arabic form. Prose poetry may be defined as prose with poetic emotion and rhythm; Gibran took it over from, especially, Whitman and perfected its form in ArabicФ [6, p. xii]. This suggests an idea that the author of УThe ProphetФ may have chosen the prose poem form for his English writing as well.


І 2 Lexical Analysis


We start the analysis on the semantic level. Judging by the wordsТ basic nominative meaning we can single out various groups of words united by a particular notional sphere, sphere of use, and stylistic colouring.

The Prophet's address concerns both peopleТs every-day life and eternal matters. It touches upon their customs, every-day responsibilities, religious matters, which accounts for a great number of trivial words connected with domestic life of people. The words can be easily classified by groups of names of objects, events and abstractions, for example:


occupational terms: keeper of an inn, seeress, weaver, potter, ploughmen, mason, merchant, judge, lawyer, orator, priestess, teacher, scholar, astronomer, poet and so on;


terms of nature: sun, sea, ocean, river, stream, fields, meadows, grove, forest, plain, wind;


domestic and wild animals/birds names: elk, deer, ox, turtle, skylark;


utensils: cup, vessel;


constructions: house, bower, temple, citadel;


musical instruments: flute, lyre, harp;


food and drink: bread, wine, potion, milk, corn;


agricultural/home activities: to thresh, to sift, to grind, to crush grapes, to bake, to knead, to ungird;


abstract notions: love, life, death, religion, self-knowledge, time, reason and passion, friendship, good and evil, etc.;


fragrances: frankincense, myrth, mandrake, etc.


Another large group of words belongs to the religious domain and are either of the Latin, Greek or French origin.They are most frequently associated with religious sphere of human life: God, the Mighty, prophet, prayer/to pray, soul, spirit, sacrifice/to sacrifice, to worship, communion, altar, to crucify, baptism, to sanctify, blessed, to scourge, the righteous, the wicked, resurrection, etc.

Yet another lexical group includes words and word combinations that are directly associated with the Bible or which have been recurrently used in various English translations of the Holy Book: verily, to deliver unto oneТs hand (compare: УDo this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friendЕФ (Prov. 6:3)); the sweat of your brow (compare: УIn the sweat of thy faceЕФ (Gen. 3:19)); the seat of fear (compare: Уseat of violenceФ (Amos 6:3)); to suffer to do smth. (compare: УЕbut the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleepФ (Eccl. 5:12)); seasons meaning УtimeФ (Уto become a stranger unto the seasonsФ compare with УTo every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavenЕФ (Eccl. 1:1)); chastisement, exceeding tenderness (compare: УI am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward (Gen. 15:1), Уan exceeding good landФ (Num. 14:7), Уan exceeding bitter cryФ (Gen. 27:34)); earth yielding fruit (compare: Уthe tree yielding fruitФ (Gen. 1:12)); oftentimes meaning Уoften, many timesФ; to lay the axe unto the evil tree (compare: УAnd now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fireФ (Mt. 3:10)); righteous is another word which is marked as biblical in the dictionaries, it denotes a "just and upright man" who sins not. Other biblical words are scourge (Уwith hook and scourgeФ), harness (Уa harness and a chainФ), sluggard, fouling, alms, beast, etc. A particular group of word combinations forms the stock or traditional biblical phrases: to deliver unto oneТs hand, to become a stranger unto, to walk among something or someone, to take alms, to be satisfied.

Gibran also uses direct or subtly transformed quotations from the Bible: a divided house (compare: УAnd Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not standЕФ (Mt. 12:25)), a den of thieves (see: УAnd he said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thievesФ (Mt. 21:13)).

In terms of stylistic colouring the text contains a large number of literary words: to bear back meaning Уto bring, to carryФ, a mariner, ether (also poetic), a wayfarer meaning Уa traveller on footФ, to rejoice, ere (also poetic and archaic) instead of УbeforeФ, to perish, naught instead of УnothingФ, aught (also archaic) instead of УanythingФ, bounty (of life) meaning УgenerosityФ, pinion meaning Уa wingФ (also poetic), to befall meaning to happen, perilous meaning Уvery dangerousФ.

Another large part of stylistically marked words constitute formal words such as: to await, to hasten, to reckon (also archaic), meaning Уto calculate an amountФ, chastisement, to proceed meaning Уto go in some directionФ, to deem, an affliction, a garment, to foul, to invoke, to heed, to defile, constancy, thither, communion, behold and so on.

Archaic words are also frequent: thither, raiment, to abide meaning Уto live somewhereФ, to take alms, to rend meaning Уto tear or wrench forciblyФ, to tarry meaning Уto linger, to stayФ, aught, naught, ere, oftentimes, needs must, ay(e) meaning Уindeed, verilyФ, yea in the meaning of УyesФ or УindeedФ.

As for particular verb forms and auxiliary words such as prepositions and conjunctions, some of them nowadays are considered antique and rarely used: needs must, to suffer to do something, in the midst of (also poetic) stands for Уin the middle ofФ, formal equivalents of to, on - unto, upon, even asЕ, soЕ. In one of the chapters of his book Gibran employs stylisation to produce an effect of a prayer:


УOur God, who are our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.

It is thy desire in us that desireth.

It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into the days which are thine also.

We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us allФ (On Prayer).


For the creation of the biblical effect Gibran uses archaic forms of pronouns and verbs, which are typically used in the Bible: УtheeФ, УthyФ, УthineФ, УthouФ, УaughtФ, УartФ, УgivestФ, УknowestФ, УdesirethФ, etc. The structure of his sentences is associative with the biblical ones: relative subordinate clauses with pronouns УwhichФ, УthatФ or УwhoФ as subject, or complex sentence with an adverbial clause of reason connected by conjunction УforФ. Gibran usually uses the modal verb shall.

The most recurrent word combinations that are repeated from chapter to chapter, and characterise the authorТs individual style are:


Speak to us ofЕ

And he answered, sayingЕ

Oftentimes have I heard you sayЕ

Some of you sayЕ

But I say (unto you)Е


On the meta-semiotic level we come to investigating the potential of words to, roughly to say, expand or narrow their meaning. This is where the notion of connotation comes to the fore. In the broadest sense of the word Уconnotation is all emotional-expressive-evaluative overtones created in the text through a specific choice and arrangement of words. It appears that some words have wide semantic potential, which is variously realised in the context of a work of fiction. Additional semantic-evaluative overtones merge in the mindТs eye of the reader to create a specific meta-realityЕIn this sense there are two basic types of connotations: the first type is largely responsible for the creation of the meta-reality in the perception of the reader, the second Ц only enhances the overall aesthetic sensation created by other linguistic meansЕ Roughly speaking this means that the basic nominative meaning of words can be either broadened in the context, acquiring additional shades of meaning and evaluative tints in a specific word surrounding, or, contrariwise, - contextually narrowed, i.e. used either terminologically or purely expressively Ц for the sake of aesthetic decoration or enhancement of the semantic and evaluative scope of other words and phrases, or bringing forward a particular concept or an ideaФ [9, p. 52].

All this is quite true of GibranТs work: his language is expressive and connotative: some of the words are connotative inherently like serenity, beauty, joy, cherished, stealthy, fetter, fouling, wicked; other acquire connotation in the poetic environment, yet other realise more than one meaning in a particular context.

Our first example of the connotative usage of words is taken from the opening chapter of the book УThe Coming of the ShipФ:


And you, vast sea, sleepless mother,

Who are alone are peace and freedom to the river and the stream,

Only another winding will this stream make, only another murmur in this glade,

And then I shall come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean.


To illustrate how words realise their semantic potential in the text and acquire in the context a host of shades associative with the Oriental culture and fundamental religious doctrines, let us take, for example, an attributive word-combination Уa boundless dropФ, which in this context should be considered in a row together with the adjacent word combination Уa boundless oceanФ. The word УboundlessФ means Уhaving no limit or endФ [10], УunlimitedФ (Уenthusiasts with boundless energy for their hobbyФ). Boundless implies not only Уan infinite number of somethingФ but also Уwithout boundariesФ. The ProphetТs idea is to become one with the One (Уa boundless oceanФ) that is everything, to lose oneТs self in All, to dissolve like this infinitely small and uncountable drop dissolves in the vast and boundless body of the ocean. Gibran is playing upon the idea of the ocean as boundless both in its expanse (seemingly so large that it has no boundaries) and in its literal lack of any sort of boundaries within it: it is all One ocean. A drop entering the ocean becomes УboundlessФ by having its own boundaries dissolved and by becoming УgreatФ with the greatness of the ocean. Thus the meaning of the word УboundlessФ becomes broadened in this allegory of the ocean and a drop through evoking associations with the infinite number of drops in the ocean, with complete dissolving of this drop in the vast expanse of the ocean and the dropТs becoming as great and boundless as the great ocean itself.

Another example is taken from the chapter УOn GivingФ:


And there are those who give with pain and that pain is their baptism.


The conventional meaning of the term is the Уinitiation into the Christian Church by the pouring of waterФ. There is also an expression Уbaptism by fireФ, which refers to the situation in the early days of Christianity when those studying to be baptized could be arrested and killed before their actual christening ceremony. They would be recognised as true members of the Church by virtue of the fact that they were willing to die for their belief (often by being burned). One may also come across baptism by blood, by the sword. УBaptism by fireФ is a fairly common English idiom for being initiated into an activity by means of an initial struggle as opposed to the more common route of learning.

In the present case Gibran is substituting УfireФ by УpainФ (baptism by pain), implying that one can find salvation not only through conventional routs, but also by being generous to the point of denying something to oneТs self in order to give to another.

The instances of the purely expressive use of words are more frequent. Usually those words are close in meaning and may be considered as relative synonyms. Synonymic condensation may be regarded as a device for increasing expressivity and creating rhythm within a sentence: Уsharing peace and serenityФ Ц serenity implies peaceful and tranquil state of mind, calmness, thus the word peace is used here for the sake of mere expressive colouring; Уyou may find in them [clothes] a harness and a chainФ Ц the word harness denotes a particular equipment of straps used either for fastening a horse of a man. Since both words, Уa harnessФ and Уa chainФ, are used metaphorically in the context, meaning something that limits the freedom of choice, dominates, imposes restrictions, chain becomes redundant in terms of bringing about the idea, but quite indispensable in terms of rhythmical soundness. Other examples include: Уthe holy and the righteousФ, Уof magnificence and splendourФ, Уthe pure and the innocentФ, Уa yoke and a handcuffФ, etc.


І 3 Composition and Syntax


The content of УThe ProphetФ is organised in keeping with the traditional for the Oriental literature principle of Уframe compositionФ, which was introduced to the West closer towards the Renaissance period [cf. 27, p.7]. The principle of the Уframe compositionФ presupposes the narration of several stories which may be either united by a particular subject or deal with different relatively independent issues; told just by one person or contrariwise; the number of the stories is unlimited; the plots and the characters may intertwine. The narration of stories usually follows the "expositional" chapter, which sets the scene for the future stories to be told. Thus from the exposition in УArabian NightsФ we learn the story of the King Shahryar and the reasons why each night Scheherazade entertained him with her tales. Giovanni Boccaccio for hisУDecameronФ gathers his dames and chevaliers on a distant villa far from the plagued Florence.

In УThe ProphetФ Almustafa, who has lived in the city of Orphalese for twelve years, is waiting for his ship so that he could return to the isle of his birth. And when the ship comes, and Almustafa is Уready to goФ, the people appeal to him with the words Уdisclose us to ourselves, and tell us all that has been shown to you of that which is between birth and deathФ. Almustafa shares with them his knowledge and wisdom; he speaks on 26 subjects such as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death. These chapters are within the УframeФ of AlmustafaТs waiting and leaving. Exposition and denouement are the indispensable stages for the Уframe compositionФ: after Almustafa had spoken of death, he bids farewell and leaves; such is the final scene of the book.

The order in which the speeches are presented is arbitrary although we may regard the final speech on death as a kind of culmination.

The first thing that startles the reader on opening the book is the textТs visual organisation (not always taken into account by the web-libraries). The text is divided into lines made as short as possible. Gibran made his prose sound poetic; obviously, he wanted it to look like a poem too. Another effect the author achieves by dividing the text in such a way is the aphoristic quality almost each line or sentence receives. Each line or sentence states an idea in its complete form. Neither of the lines serves as a mere link, Фjoint unitФ between the preceding and the following line. Each line has its share of aesthetic and ideological value.

Not only the text is divided into lines, it is also divided into bigger chunks within the Prophet's speeches, united by a single image or an idea. For illustration we take the chapter УOn DeathФ:


Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death.

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. (1)



In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. (2)



Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the sheered not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling? (3)



For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? (4)



Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. (5)


The first chunk introduces the idea of the deathТs incomprehensible nature, and its identical nature with life. The second one brings about the idea of inherent knowledge of death possessed by a human being; the sentences here are stitched by the image of Уdreaming seedsФ. The next chunk deals with the human fear of death; the idea of unnecessary fear is explained with the help of the image of a Уtrembling shepherdФ, a УunitingФ feature of this thematic whole. The fourth thematic block concerns the essence of dying; its unifying feature is the use of lexical and syntactic parallelism. The last piece consists of three syntactically parallel sentences; each of them employs the figure of oxymoron.

By dividing his text into lines the author creates a euphonious rhythmical whole that is conducive to the expression of solemnity and importance of the ideas related.


Within the bulk of the text it is easy to single out minor and major syntactic groups, formed by the principle of lexical synonymy or lexical opposition. Those groups play the crucial role in creating rhythm. The words in the minor groups are usually of the same length; the stress usually falls on the same syllable; they are homogeneous parts of the sentence, the same parts of speech, and connected by the conjunction УandФ: Уthe chosen and the belovedФ, Уa burden and an acheФ, Уin peace and without sorrowФ, У a harness and a chainФ, Уto the river and the streamФ, Уhard and steepФ, Уwillingly and joyfullyФ, Уkeep and guardФ, Уrend and unveilФ, Уthe pure and the innocentФ, Уof forest and plainФ, Уwith hook and scourgeФ, Уof magnificence and splendorФ, Уa fetter and a foulingФ, Уthe holy and the righteousФ, Уalone and unguardedФ, Уdumb and silentФ, У to toss and driftФ, Уto rise and runФ, Уthe wicked and the weakФ, Уa deceiver and an oppressorФ, Уshall not hold Еnor shelterФ, Уtheir fields and their vineyardsФ, Уthe guiltless and unblamedФ, etc. Although not all the words in these pairs are direct synonyms, they are of the same notional area and bear a certain degree of synonymity: Уa burden and an acheФЦ words with inherent negative connotation, a burden may cause physical and mental pain, distress; Уthe pure and the innocent Ф Ц words with inherent positive connotation, both mean free from moral wrong. Such synonymic condensation adds expressivity and decorative attractiveness to the text.

Minor syntactic groups can also be based on the principle of lexical opposition: Уthe good and the badФ, Уthe fruitful and the fruitlessФ, Уthe erect and the fallenФ, Уyour sorrow and your joyФ, Уyour joy and your painФ, Уthe songs and the silencesФ, Уthe desired and the dreadedФ, Уthe repugnant and the cherishedФ, Уthe pursued and that which you would escapeФ, etc.

Major syntactic groups comprise larger syntactic structures, for example: Уwork is a curse and labour a misfortuneФ, Уtheir worth naked and their pride unabashedФ, Уlife goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterdayФ, Уto freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mouldФ, Уrise and expand and seekФ, Уfor the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepressФ, Уthe singers and the dancers and the flute playersФ, etc. Those major syntactic groups are either parallel structures, or consist of three words connected by the conjunction УandФ. Both the minor and the major groups create certain rhythm, but while the minor groups sound finite and complete due to their two-unit structure, major groups, consisting of three and more words, create another kind of rhythmical effect. This effect originates from the readerТs anticipation of the next lexical unit following the preceding one. The scheme is likely to look like this: УwordФ and УwordФ and УwordФ and Е Thus one word comes after another in an УendlessФ train.

Hence we come to polysyndeton or Уmany-andsФ, a figure of speech, which presupposes the continuous repetition of the conjunction УandФ either at the beginning of each new sentence or in any part of it; and is often employed for enumeration. When polysyndeton is used, the sentence never arrives at a climax at the end. Instead of hurrying on to reach the important conclusion the reader is asked to halt to weigh each matter, and to consider each word that is added or emphasized.

Such word chain creates a specific rhythm, which may be called УextendedФ, because the lexical group can be easily extended with the help of another УandФ, another word, or another sentence. Such figure of speech is typical of the Oriental poetics and is called УtaushiФ or УwindingФ identical to the traditionally known figure of amplification (when new parts are added to the initial sentence thus considerably extending it) [cf. 46]. An extract from УArabian NightsФ illustrates this point very clearly:


ЕThen King Shahryar, having sealed the missive and given it to the Wazir with the offerings aforementioned, commanded him to shorten his skirts and strain his strength and make all expedition in going and returning. УHarkening and obedience!Ф quoth the Minister, who fell to making ready without stay and picked up his loads and prepared all the requisites without delay. This occupied him three days, and on the dawn of the fourth he took leave of his King and marched right away, over the desert and hallway, stony waste and pleasant sea, without halting by night or by day. But whenever he entered a realm whose ruler was subject to his suzerain, where he was greeted with magnificent gifts of gold and silver and all manner of presents fair and rare, he would tarry there three days, the term of the guest rite. And when he left on the fourth, he would be honorably escorted for a whole dayТs march. As soon as the Wazir drew near Shah ZamanТs court in Samarkand he dispatched to report his arrival one of his high officials, who presented himself before the King and, kissing ground between his hands, delivered his message. Hereupon the King commanded sundry of his grandees and the lords of his realm to fare forth and meet his brotherТs Wazir at the distance of a full dayТs journey. Which they did, greeting him respectfully and wishing him all prosperity and forming an escort and a procession [I-net link 7].


Amplification and polysyndeton are among the key biblical figures of speech. The first chapter of the Old Testament, for example, consists of 31 verses and only two of them do not begin with the conjunction УandФ[5].

The principle of adducing one word after another with the help of the conjunction УandФ exposes the connection between GibranТs book and the Oriental poetics, in particular, with the biblical style. In addition to the effect of an unhurried, epic narration such speech organization also creates a very clear rhythmical pattern.

A short piece from the chapter УOn WorkФ is a good example of polysyndeton and amplification:


You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary,

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.


The next characteristic feature of the bookТs syntax is the use of inversion. Inversion is a very powerful device for creation of a particular poetic effect, rhythm, or emphasizing a particular word or word combination. Gibran employs inversion rather often:


Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longingЕ

It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.


ЕFain would I take all that is here. But how shall I?

A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.

And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.


ЕHow often have you sailed in my dreams. And now you come in my awakening, which is my deeper dream.

Ready am I to go, and my eagerness with sails full set awaits the wind.

Only another breath will I breathe in this still air, only another loving look cast backwardsЕ

Only another winding will this stream makeЕ


ЕAnd ever has it been that love knows not its own depth untilthe hour of separation.


ЕProphet of God, in quest of the uttermost, long have you searched the distances for your ship.


Here inversion becomes the device for making prose sound musical, almost like a song. By placing the verb ending with a sonorous consonant [l], [m] before the diphthong [ai] Gibran achieves the effect of the Уsound liaisonФ. Sonorous sounds can be prolonged. With the words arranged in the direct order the sound prolongation would have been impossible.

For the sake of rhythm, inversion may emphasise modal verbs so that the stress falls at equal intervals creating the effect of isochrony:


Alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.

†† _ _†††† _ _ _††† _ _†† __†† __†† _ _†† _ _


Inversion is a very powerful emphatic device. In order to bring forward certain words Gibran places an adjective or a participle after the noun they modify, thus breaking the traditional word order: Уto see their worth naked and their pride unabashedФ, or Уa heart enflamed and a soul enchantedФ, or Уthat temple invisibleФ. Thus the logical stress falls on the words in italics.

Syntactic inversion creates the musical effect and particular rhythmical patterns especially valuable for oral reading. Thus inversion constitutes another characteristic feature of the style of the book.

The last syntactic device to be discussed in this paper is parallelism Ц in rhetoric Ц a technique of placing ideas of equal importance in the same type of construction so as to emphasize their similarity [3, p. 217]. Parallelism plays the primary role in creating the bookТs unique style often called УGibranianФ. In fact, it is the main principle of the whole textТs syntactic organization. There are parallels within a single sentence; there are parallel sentences; syntactic and semantic parallels can also be drawn between distant parts of the book.

Parallelism, either lexical or syntactic, is the most distinguishing feature of the Oriental poetics. Persian and Arab classical poetry is practically without exception based on parallelism: УThe basic features of sadge (one of the stages in development of the classical Arabic verse) are parallelism and rhyme. The third rule that has to be observed is to keep equal quantity of words in each line, thus making the lines equally longФ [46, p.77]. The Bible is another example of a text where this device clarifies the meaning and creates a rhythm in the sentence.

GibranТs parallelism can be lexico-syntactic and syntactic, based on semantic synonymy or antonymic relations. The examples of the lexical-syntactic parallel structures are as follows:


1 And his soul cried out to them, and he said:

2 Sons of my ancient mother, you riders of the tides,

3 How often have you sailed in my dreams. And now you come in my awakening, which is my deeper dream.

4 Ready am I to go, and my eagerness with sails full set awaits the wind.

5 Only another breath will I breathe in this still air, only another loving look cast backwards,

6 And then I shall stand among you, a seafarer among seafarers.

7 And you, vast sea, sleepless mother,

8 Who are alone are peace and freedom to the river and the stream,

9 Only another winding will this stream make, only another murmur in this glade,

10 And then I shall come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean

(The Coming of the Ship)


Lexical and syntactic parallel structures are shown in bold font. Line 2 is parallel to line 7, line 5 Ц to line 9, and line 6 Ц to line 10. Line 2 sets the pattern for line 7. The form of address is identical in both lines: УyouФ + apposition, when two noun phrases stand side-by-side with the second adding information to the first. The structure of the 5th, 6th , 9th and 10th lines are identical not only in terms of syntax but in terms of lexical units as well. The 5th and the 6th lines constitute a sentence of the following pattern: УOnly anotherФ + noun + auxiliary verb + subject + Е.., Уonly anotherФ + noun + Е. , Уand thenФ + subject + predicate+ apposition. Lines 9 and 10 follow this pattern. Lexical parallelism is represented by the repetition of words within a single line as well as in corresponding lines: Уonly anotherФ, Уand then I shallФ, Уa seafarer among seafarersФ, Уa boundless drop to a boundless oceanФ.

Another characteristic example of syntactic parallelism is found in the chapters "On Work" and "On Freedom":


And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with the threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with the breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.



And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.

And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared (On Freedom).


The next extract illustrates the principle of semantic antonymic parallelism with the full or partial antonyms used in adjacent lines and the structures of the first and the second sentences being parallel:


But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,

So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,

So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all (On Crime and Punishment).


Syntactic pattern of the two sentences looks like this: even asЕЕ, so Е. Within the first sentence there is an antonymic parallel construction. УThe holy and the righteousФ are antonyms ofУthe wicked and the weakФ, Уrise higher beyond the highestФ stands against Уfall lower than the lowestФ.

An extract from the chapter УOn PleasureФ can serve as an example of the semantically synonymic parallelism:


Pleasure is a freedom-song,

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not their fruit.

It is the depth calling unto the height,

But it is not the deep nor the high.

It is the caged taking wing,

But it is not space encompassed.

Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.

Here is an example of the syntactic and semantic parallelism based both on synonymy and antonymic relations:


What judgement pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in the spirit?

What penalty lay you upon him, who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?

(On Crime and Punishment)


Semantically, Уto pronounce judgementФ and Уto lay a penaltyФ are relative synonyms; Уupon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in the spiritФ and Уhim, who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spiritФ are semantically antonymic constructions.

Parallelism can also be found in distant chapters of the book. In the chapter УOn Crime and PunishmentФ Gibran expresses the idea of the manТs pigmy-self: УMuch in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man, / But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakeningФ. The chapter УOn Good and EvilФ echoes the same idea: УIn your longing for your giant self lies your goodness and that longing is in all of youФ. Thus an opposition of pygmy/giant self is created.

Parallels can also be drawn between the chapter УOn HousesФ and the closing chapter of the book УFarewellФ. The idea of a second Уlarger bodyФ of a man receives the final touch on the last pages of the book: УFor even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so had the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone. / Your house is your larger body. / It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night, and it is not dreamless. / Does not your house dream? and dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?Ф compare: УBut sweeter still than laughter and greater than longing came to me. / It was the boundless in you; / The vast man in whom you are all but cell and sinews;Е / It is in the vast man that you are vastФ.

Another no less important figure of speech is a lexical-semantic contrast (or contraries), by means of which one considers opposite or incompatible things. This figure occurs in pairs of lexical units, which basically exclude one another. This rhetorical figure is quite characteristic of the biblical style and Arabic poetry:


Your joy is your sorrow unmaskedЕ

ЕThat which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined.


ЕBut the hunter was also the hunted

And the flier was also the creeper

And I the believer was also the doubterЕ


ЕShall the day of parting be the day of gathering?

And shall it be said that my eve was in truth my dawn?, etc.


In what follows we adduce a list of the most recurrent lexical-syntactic peculiarities of the book including our observations in terms of Major syntax:


1)             non-conjunction compound sentence;

2)             compound sentences with and or but;

3)             complex sentence with the adverbial clause of reason connected by conjunction УforФ: УFor what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?Ф, УFor it is his to fill your need, but not your emptinessФ, УFor without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is un-acclaimedФ;

4)             complex sentences with conditional, time and other types of subordinate clauses with the main clause ending with УalsoФ: УIf he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood alsoФ, УAnd when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom alsoФ, УIt is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine alsoФ.

5)             adverbial clauses of manner or comparison introduced byeven asЕ, so..; asЕ, soЕ; ЕasЕ;

6)             relative subordinate clause with pronouns УwhichФ, УthatФ or УwhoФ as subject: УBut I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you / So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you alsoФ, УWhen you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joyФ, УWhat judgement pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in the spiritФ, УBut let not him, who longs much say to him, who longs littleЕФ. Compare it with the Bible: УAnd the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of AssyriaФ (Gen. 2:11-14), УЕat the valley of Shaveh, which is the kingТs daleФ, УThey have moved me to jealousy with that, which is not GodФ;

7)             sentences beginning with the modal verb УwouldФ: УWould that you could meet sun with more of your skin and less of your raiment?Ф, УI would have them seekФ, УWould that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadowФ, etc.;

8)             inversion used for creating rhythm, poetic flavour, and prolonging sonorous sounds. Compare with the Bible: УIn the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat breadЕand unto dust shalt thou returnФ (Gen 3:19);

9)             lexicalised negative particle not: verb + not; Еsubj + do smth not, neither do + subj + verb: УЕthey toil not, neither do they spinФ (Mt 6:28). УThe ProphetФ: УIt knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it in the holes of the serpentФ and УFor life goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterdayФ; УThe soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reedФ; УFor the truly good asks not the nakedЕФ; УAnd seek notЕФ; УFor the vision of one man lends not its wings to another manФ.


І 4 Decorative Elements


The principal decorative elements of УThe ProphetФ are rhythm and alliteration. Previously we have noted that syntactically the text is organized in such a way that every line gets its own rhythmical prominence. The main devices that create those patterns are: polysyndeton, inversion, lexical-semantic contrasts, and parallelism.

Rhythmical euphony is also achieved by means of recurrent minor two-unit lexical groups.

In terms of sound repetition it is possible to speak of the use of assonance and alliteration. Certain vowels of the same or similar quality are repeated in adjacent or closely connected words. The most common is the repetition of a vowel in two or three closely connected words, for instance in such phrases as: Уit will but lead some to greed and others to hungerФ, Уthe freedom of privacyФ, Уhidden willФ, Уwith more of your skin and less of your raimentФ, Уto feel your bare feetФ, sleeps in the stillnessФ, Уthe lute that sooths your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knivesФ, Уwas filled with your tearsФ, Уthe more joy you can containФ, Уare you at standstill and balancedФ, Уthe wicked and the weakФ, Уthe courage and the confidenceФ, Уto freeze and crystallizeФ, Уtoilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weaversФ, Уsleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfiedФ, Уas the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highestФ, Уfall lower than the lowest which is in you alsoФ, Уyou walk together towards your god-selfФ, Уknows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it in the holesФ.

Not infrequently Gibran alludes the repetition of sonorous sounds and alliteration in the rhythmicalized sequences: Уfind abundanceФ, Уwind who has woven the clothes we wearФ, Уa fetter and a foulingФ, clothes concealФ, the softening of the sinewsФ, Уwinds long to playФ, Уwhose door is the morning mist and whose windows are the songs and the silences of nightФ, Уbuild a bowerФ, Уfruit and frankincenseФ, Уthe wicked and the weakФ, Уthe courage and the confidenceФ, Уlike a sower scatters themФ, Уthat stealthy thingФ, Уit lulls you to sleepФ, Уboundless in you abides in the mansion of the skyФ, Уto become a stranger unto the seasons and to step out of lifeТs procession that marches in majesty and proud submissionФ, Уeven as if your beloved were to dwell in that houseФ, Уbe not trapped nor tamedФ, Уnor seeks in the holes of the serpentФ, Уthe light that lingersФ, Уrise and run murmuringФ, Уlike a lotus of countless petalsФ, Уstrong and swiftФ, Уlimp before the lameФ.

Surprisingly enough "The Prophet" seems to be bearing the basic rhythmical traits of the Oriental classical poetry. The quantitative nature of the classical Arab verse predetermines the distinct rhythmical organisation of speech; parallelism also creates rhythm and requires the lines to be of the same length; before rhyme became a necessary requirement for a perfect Arabic verse, alliteration was the main means of the sound decoration. УRhythmical organisation of rhetorical, homiletic and, actually, any other kind of speech Ц writes a specialist on Arabic poetics D. Frolov Ц has become almost an inborn habit among the ArabsФ [63, c.79].


Part III

Stylisation in Translation


In this chapter we deal primarily with the ways and methods of stylisation aimed at preserving and rendering in the target text a specific national-literary and socio-cultural colouring of the source text. In the appendix to the paper we adduce our own exercise in stylised translation of "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, in which we paid special attention to the adequate rendering of the central notional and linguistic features conditioned by the Oriental (Biblical and Sufi) poetic literary traditions described in detail in the first Part of the book, as well as the words and phrases bearing a strong archaic and solemn flavour. In this our attempt we naturally referred to the Russian Synodal Translation of the Bible and occasionally compared our findings with the turns of phrase found in the Church Slavonic translation of the Scriptures since this text is widely accepted by the educated Russian speaking community as an example of poetic euphony and religious sumptuousness, perfectly suitable for the purposes of church liturgy and forming the indispensable foundation of homiletic eloquence in the Russian Orthodox Churches.


І 1 Culturally Specific Elements in the Translation of Fiction


According to V.Ivir, Уtranslation is based on an interplay of forces only one of which is linguistic in the narrow sense of the term, that is, resulting form the contact of two language systems. Other forces are extralinguistic (resulting from the contact of two cultures) sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and stylisticФ. Alexander Shveitser, a Russian theoretician of a great authority in the field of translation, also writes: УЕtranslation is both a linguistic and a cultural phenomenon, cutting across boundaries of languages and cultures (not only Sprachmittung but also Kulturmittung)Ф [4, p. 7].

One of the problematic aspects in the sphere of translation concerns the possibility of preserving not only the overall sense of a work of fiction but its national and cultural flavour as well. Kornej Chukovsky said: УLet the syntax be Russian, but the style and the colouring should, as much as possible, be of the original 1Ф [69, p.83].

A literary work is historically conditioned and, consequently, unique. A complete identity between the original and a translation is impossible, as there is none between an original and a copy. Therefore it is impossible to preserve the specific traits of the original to the full extent [42, p.129]. However, the relation of a translation to the original is of a special nature: translation does not tolerate the practice of saying more than the original intends to say. Translation is Уthe imitation of the originalФ, Уwhen the original is represented in a different linguo-cultural contextФ [70, p.66] and Уon a differed materialФ [42, p.129].

The primary rule of translation runs as follows: translating a work of fiction implies its rendering in a different language uniting the form and the content in the best possible way which results in producing the final impression on the reader equal and adequate to the impression of the original [cf. 42, p.127-129]. The form of the original cannot be preserved mechanically; we can only reproduce its meaning and aesthetic value. It means that it is impossible to render all the nationally or historically specific elements of the original Ц it appears therefore that a translator needs to create an illusion of a particular national or historical environment [42, p. 129].

Since fiction literature reflects in its imagary a particular reality related to life of a particular nation, it is important to render the national colouring of the original to the extent this colouring is present in the original. The preservation of the original flavour of the original presupposes its functionally correct understanding and the adequate rendering of the whole complex of various elements [61, p.277].

The contrast between the original text and the target text is intensified by the contrast between the two cultures (the source and the target ones). Cultural clash becomes particularly striking when one culture begins to dominate another one. The predominance of the source culture is manifested in the abundance of УexoticismsФ, foreign realia, alien to the source culture. On the contrary, the predominance of the target culture results in partial or complete УdomesticationФ or УnaturalisationФ of the text, Уleading to the Russification of English texts, or Germanisation of FrenchФ [4, p.16] and the irrevocable loss of what is thought to be the textТs foreign flavour and cultural colouring.

The very first question any translator has to face is the scope of national or cultural elements he/she is supposed to preserve. In this connection we should refer to the dialectic principle of the individual and the common, or the part and the whole. A translator needs to resolve the task of determining the importance of the details, on the one hand, and subjecting them to the whole, on the other. Certainly, his primary goal is to render the whole, but it is necessary to preserve all the semantic elements as well [42, p. 141].

TranslatorТs adherence to the method of rendering individual elements leads to the УexactФ translation, plain and slavish, lacking the creativity and imagination[6]. Other translators in their attempt to embrace the whole are ready to sacrifice individual elements or particular ideas [42, p 141].

Thus where a word has no independent meaning and its role is reduced to being a part of the whole, one should translate the whole occasionally neglecting the meaning of separate words. Stable word combinations, idioms and the majority of sayings and proverbs are translated in such a way. When dealing with the problem of adequate rendering of imagery one should also take into account the secondary relations between the words, the way they reflect the semantic reality and the correlation between an idea and its imaginative expression. Therefore even a slightest detail deserves a scrupulous translation, especially when it is an element of a higher level Ц the authorТs style, speech characteristics and so on [42, p. 141].

All the above said led the scholars in the field of translation to the elaboration of several principles of preservation of the original national flavour, the most crucial of which are:


a)                 it is advisable to preserve only those national/cultural specific elements that can be perceived by the reader as foreign, alien to the target culture, as carrying Уthe national or historical flavourФ;

b)                 artistic means which have no equivalent in the target language and which do not enhance the illusion of the foreign environment, can be substituted by neutral, non-marked means unable to evoke any associations with a particular place or time [42, p. 130].


І 2 Translation of Culturally Specific Concepts


There are quite a few culturally specific notions in "The Prophet" which have direct Russian equivalents and can be transposed into the target language directly. Such words do not belong to the Russian national worldview and are invariably perceived with a particular implication.††

Such words as myrth, cypress, frankincense, the names of Almustafa, Almitra and the month Ielool (meaning in Arabic the month of the rising moon), mentioning the gatherers of spices, all add Oriental, especially Arabic flavour to the work. They were translated correspondingly as мирт, кипарис, ладан, јльмустафа, »елул, собиратели пр¤ностей.

The notional basis of all allegoric images, such as flute, wine, vineyard, sower, love, Archer, beloved, arrows, weaving, streams, oceans and so on, has been preserved.

Polyphony presents considerable difficulty for a translator of this book and should be dealt with the utmost care: a translator is supposed to find a word in the target language that would allow an equally broad polyphonic interpretation of the corresponding source word which often presents quite a big problem. Some cases are less intricate, some are more, like the one in the chapter УOn PrayerФ:


When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.

Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.


The word communion may be associated both with a) the Christian ceremony of Eucharist, b) a fellowship, a special relationship with someone whom you understand very well, and c) with a group of people that share the same religious beliefs. The allegory of a prayer compared with entering the temple suggests that the line may be interpreted in the following way: you pray and thus enter into spiritual union with those who pray at the same hour. However, since the act of prayer is allegorically compared to the temple, the association with the religious ceremony immediately comes into mind. In Russian the word "причастие"1, a natural equivalent of communion, carries only the idea of the religious ceremony, while another Russian word УединениеФ suggests the spiritual union only. Therefore the most appropriate word in this case seemed to be УприобщениеФ for the Russian Language Dictionary defines Уприобщитьс¤Ф as 1) Увключитьс¤ в какую-нибудь де¤тельность, стать участником чего-либо; 2) у верующих: причаститьс¤ (устар.) причаститьс¤ св¤тых таинств. Thus the suggested translation of this line sounds as follows: Уѕотому приходите в этот храм незримый лишь ради великой радости и сладостного приобщени¤Ф.

There are other simpler cases, which yet require conformity with the overall notional core of the book:


Say not, УI have found the path of the soul.Ф Say rather, УI have met the soul walking upon my path

For the soul walks upon all paths.


The word path that can be rendered in Russian as УтропаФ, УпутьФ, УдорогаФ, in the context of Sufism path cannot be translated in any other way than УпутьФ, because one of the crucial Sufi concepts literally means the Path, ѕуть (Tariqat).

Another example of word polyphony is found in the chapter УOn DeathФ:

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.


The allegory of an owl may be interpreted in several ways: first, it may imply an average person, a pygmy-self of a man, who is blind to the light of the day and Уwalks asleep in the darkФ. Then in such a state of the spirit he is unlikely to understand, perceive the mystery of light, the divine Truth. The second interpretation implies a false prophet who is unable to open the Truth to the others. Other interpretations are possible. In order to preserve at least two of the probable interpretations of such an allegory we suggest translating the phrase "to unveil the mystery" as Ураскрыть тайнуФ, Уприподн¤ть завесу над тайной солнечного светаФ rather than Упостичь тайну светаФ, Упроникнуть в тайнуФ, Уоткрыть тайнуФ.


І 3 Translating Stylistically Marked Lexical Set


A particular group of words in УThe ProphetФ directly associated with the Bible, or thoroughly used through the Holy Book, plays an important role in conveying the biblical flavour. Therefore it was necessary to find the Russian equivalents that would also create relevant biblical associations for the Russian reader. By way of an experiment we referred to the Russian Synodal Translation of the Bible in order to see which Russian words create the biblical effect, and whether they could really be called biblical. Of course, in doing so we had to refer to those Biblical verses which contained the words we were interested in. Another point that had to be kept in mind is that the Russian Bible was not translated from English, but from Greek. Both the King James Version of the Bible and the Russian Synodal Translation were based as it were on the third source. However they both slavishly followed the original, copying and rendering literally unusual phrasing, even preserving striking images and figurative expressions because no deviation from GodТs word could be thought of. Such slavish faithfulness to every word allowed establishing certain points of lexical similarities between the variants of the Bibles, and obtaining the necessary equivalents.

Thus where in the King James Bible the word verily is used Ц in the Russian Bible stands the word воистину, истинно:

УVerily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdomФ (Mt 16:28) compare: У»стинно говорю вам: есть некоторые из вас сто¤щих, которые не вкус¤т смертиЕФ (ћат 16, 28).

A stock phrase УBut I say unto youФ (Mt 12:36) has the traditional Russian equivalent of У»бо/а ¤ говорю (же) вамЕФ.

Another biblical word, seasons, usually meaning УtimeФ, corresponds to the Russian neutral word Уврем¤Ф:

УTo every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavenЕФ (Eccl 3:1) compare with: У¬сему свое врем¤, и врем¤ вс¤кой вещи под небомЕФ (≈ккл. 3,1). Therefore it may be possible to render the archaic and biblical colouring by syntactic means only.

The Russian УнаказаниеФ stands where the English chastisement occurs: УЕthe chastisement of the LordЕФ (Deut 11:2) ЦУнаказани¤ √осподаФ; УЕthe chastisement of our peaceЕФ (Is. 53:5) Ц Унаказание мираФ; etc. Presently chastisement would mean Уa form of severe criticism or rebukeФ thus matching in meaning the Russian Усерьезное порицаниеФ. However in old times the word used to mean Уphysical punishment, especially by beatingФ. Thus in the translation of УThe ProphetФ it would be more correct to render chastisement as УнаказаниеФ in accordance with the biblical tradition: УBut regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisementФ (On Pleasure) Ц У–аска¤ние - смущение разума, но не наказание егоФ.

Beloved is the word that both in English and Russian bears the touch of elevated style. The Russian УвозлюбленныйФ, Увозлюбленна¤Ф are probably the best equivalents for this word for they can be easily associated with the Canticles (Song of Solomon) thus achieving the desirable biblical and poetic effect.

The word sluggard that sounds nowadays a little old-fashioned to the contemporary English reader is used in the book of Proverbs to denote a lazy person. The Russian translation of the Bible employs either УленивецФ (ѕрит. 6, 6), or УленивыйФ (ѕрит. 10, 26). The Russian УленивецФ and УленивыйФ are neutral and bear no archaic marking, therefore it is unlikely to be rendered by lexical means.

Biblical archaic adverb yea can sometimes point out the places of occurrence of the Russian outdated interjection УейФ meaning Уindeed, truly, verilyФ. Recurrent in the King James Bible, Russian interjection УейФ is definitely more rarely found throughout the Russian text of the Bible.

The equivalents of traditional biblical phrases and collocations can also be revealed when comparing the corresponding phrases in the Russian Synodal Translation. It would be natural to preserve some recurrent GibranТs phrases borrowed from the Holy Book as they exist in its Russian version.

In the previous chapters we have already mentioned the quotations from the Bible such as a divided house and a den of thieves: УAnd Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not standЕФ (Mt 12:25)), a den of thieves (see: УAnd he said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thievesФ (Mt 21:13)). The only possible way of translating those collocations is to find their equivalents in the Russian text of the Bible: УЕи вс¤кий город или дом, разделившийс¤ сам в себе, не устоитЕФ (ћат. 12, 25); У» если дом разделитс¤ сам в себе, не может усто¤ть дом тотФ (ћар. 3, 25). Thus GibranТs УFor a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided houseФ can be translated as У»бо дом, разделившийс¤ в себе,- еще не вертеп разбойников; это просто дом, где нет согласи¤Ф.

Correspondingly, a den of thieves is Увертеп разбойниковФ: У» говорил им: написано: Умой дом домом молитвы наречетс¤, а вы сделали его вертепом разбойниковФ (ћат. 21, 13).

Almost in every chapter the sermon of the Prophet is preceded by the phrase Уand he answered, sayingФ. In many chapters of the Bible the words of Jesus are also introduced by identical stock phrase. The Russian Bible uses the phrase У» он сказал им в ответЕФ (ћат. 12,39), (ћат. 13,11), which we suggest for our translation in order to follow the authorТs design.

A biblical phrase in the sweat of thy face has a traditional Russian equivalent Ув поте лица своегоФ. GibranТs phrase У the sweat of your browФ is very close to the biblical one and therefore can also be rendered in the translation by means of the mentioned Russian expression, or its variation without changes to the notional layer of this expression (i.e. it is unreasonable to substitute УлицоФ by УлобФ or УбровьФ). Here is one of the variants of translation: УЕthen I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is writtenФ (On Work) Ц У“о отвечу вам, что только потом лица своего смоете начертанноеФ.

A stock expression to lay the axe unto the evil tree used in metaphoric sense creates association with the Gospels: УAnd now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fireФ (Mt 3:10). У”же и секира при корне дерев лежит: вс¤кое дерево, не принос¤щее доброго плода, срубают и бросают в огонь;ЕФ (ћат. 3, 10). Some of the Russian equivalents could be: Уѕодн¤ть топор на худое древо/ ¬ырубить худое древоФ.

An expression to become a stranger unto the seasons reminds of the Biblical Psalm 69 verse 8: УI am become a stranger unto my brethrenЕФ Ц У„ужим стал ¤ дл¤ братьев своихЕФ. Therefore the Russian equivalent of the original phrase may sound alike: Устать чужим дл¤ времениФ.

Another example is the verb to satisfy. An interesting thing about it is that in ninety percent of all cases this verb stands in the Bible in its passive form be satisfied and often at the end of a sentence. Its Russian biblical equivalent is Унасытитьс¤Ф, Унасыщатьс¤Ф, Удосыта естьФ and in one case Убыть довольнымФ. Kahlil Gibran uses the passive form be satisfied in the chapter УOn Buying and SellingФ: УIt is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied. / Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice, it will but lead some to greed and others to hungerФ. Gibran traditionally uses lexical-semantic contrasts, which usually occur in pairs, create opposition, and, consequently, exclude one another [cf. I-net link 1]: Уfind abundance and be satisfiedФ contrary Уit may lead some to greed and others to hungerФ. In order to preserve the contrast Уbe satisfiedФ should be translated as Унасытитьс¤Ф and not as Убыть довольным/удовлетвореннымФ: У»бо в обмене дарами земли обретете достаток во всем и насытитесьФ.

The expression to take alms sounds archaic in Modern English. The Russian equivalents собирать милостыню, просить пода¤ни¤ are stylistically neutral in contrast with the expression to do alms Ц творить милостыню. Therefore the solutions are either to find archaic equivalents for собирать and просить, the first part of the Russian expression, or by means of syntax.

To walk among somebody or something is another example of literal translation from Hebrew. This expression has been rendered in Russian in a similar way: Уходить среди кого-либоФ (Ћев. 26, 12); Упойти посреди напастейФ (ѕс. 137, 7); Уходить междуЕ сто¤щими здесьФ («ах. 3, 7).

To deliver unto oneТs hand is a traditional biblical expression along with to deliver from oneТs hand, to deliver from something. In the Russian tradition it preserved the same grammatical structure and verbal expression: УотдатьЕ на рукиФ (Ѕыт. 42, 37); УотдатьЕ в рукиФ (¬тор. 1, 27); УпредатьЕ в рукуФ (¬тор. 2, 30). Thus the phrase УFor the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier handФ in the chapter УOn Eating and DrinkingФ may be translated as У»бо закон, что отдает теб¤ в руку мою, предаст мен¤ руке еще более могущественнойФ.

As a general conclusion we may say that the majority of traditionally biblical words and expressions in Russian lack the stylistic colouring, which their English counterparts possess, for example, chastisement, sluggard, season(s), to take alms, to suffer to do something. One of the possible ways of preserving the archaic colouring is either to use the УbiblicalФ syntactic patterns that already sound archaic, or intentionally substitute a neutral word in the immediate surroundings of the archaic word with an alike lexical unit. Thus it will also be possible to preserve the elevated style of the narration by using the elevated and literary words: УпознатьФ (literary), УобрестиФ (literary), УчелоФ (archaic, elevated), УвратаФ (archaic), Уначертанное (прокл¤тье)Ф (elevated), Уприобщитьс¤Ф (archaic), Уобу¤тьФ (elevated), Уубо¤тьс¤Ф (archaic), УпребыватьФ (literary), УснизойтиФ (archaic, elevated), archaic and literary conjunctions УдабыФ, УибоФ.


І 4 Syntactic Stylisation in the Translation


Certain sentence types and syntactic patterns characteristic of the English Bible and GibranТs book correspond to particular patterns of the Russian Bible. This observation facilitated their translation into Russian and helped to create biblical flavour in a great number of GibranТs lines.

The most recurrent sentence type is the complex sentence with an adverbial clauses of manner or comparison introduced by even asЕ, soЕ; asЕ, soЕ; ЕasЕ[11]. The Russian conjunctions for this sentence type are какЕ, такЕ.

In the Bible: УAs snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not comeФ (Prov 26:1, 2) Ц У ак снег летом и дождь во врем¤ жатвы, так честь неприлична глупому.  ак воробей вспорхнет, как ласточка улетит, так незаслуженное прокл¤тие не сбудетс¤Ф; УЕeven one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the otherЕФ (Eccl 3:19)- УЕкак те умирают, так умирают и этиЕФ; УAs thou knowest not what is the way of the spiritЕeven so thou knowest not the works of GodЕ(Eccl 11:5) Ц У ак ты не знаешь путей ветраЕ, так не можешь знать дела ЅогаЕФ.

Therefore the obvious way of translating the sentences of the following type is as such:

УЕeven as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, / So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also. / And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree, / So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you allФ (On Crime and Punishment).

УЕкак св¤той и праведник не поднимутс¤ выше высокого в каждом из вас, / “ак злонамеренный ислабый не опуст¤тс¤ ниже низменного, присущего вам также. / » как лист на дереве не пожелтеет без молчаливого согласи¤ всего дерева, / “ак преступник не содеет преступлени¤без скрытого умысла вас всехФ.

An archaic syntactic pattern УЕsmth + verb + no moreФ is often found in the Bible: УAs a whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundationФ (Prov 10:25). An identical construction in УThe ProphetФ УAnd when the unclean shall be no moreЕФ can be rendered in the following way: У огда же не станет более нечестивых людейЕФ.

A relative clause within a complex sentence is frequently rendered in the Russian translation of the Bible by means of a participial construction [11]: Уthey that were in the shipФ Ц Убывшие в лодкеФ; УThe people which sat in the darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung upФ (Mt 4:16) Ц УЌарод, сид¤щий во тьме, увидел свет великий, и сид¤щим в стране и тени смертной восси¤л светФ. The same can be done to avoid an unnecessary subordinate clause:


У» если один из вас споткнетс¤ и упадет, дл¤ идущих позади он Ц предостережение о камне, преграждающем путь.

» упреком упадет он дл¤ идущих впереди, которые, хот¤ быстрее и увереннее в поступи, все же не сподобились убрать преградуФ.


The next characteristic feature of the УRussian biblical styleФ is omission of the subject in either subordinate or main clause:


У»бо если придете в храм с единственной целью Ц просить, то ничего не получите. / » если войдете туда, чтобы смиренно унизитьс¤ пред √осподом, то не возвыситесь. / » даже когда придете молить √оспода о благополучии других, то не будете услышаныЕ

ЕЌо если, в отча¤ньи, назовете час своего рождени¤ несчастьем, а заботу о плоти Ц прокл¤тием, начертанном на вашем челе, то отвечу ¤, что только пóтом лица своего смоете начертанное.

Е где будете сме¤тьс¤, но не растратите весь свой смех, будете рыдать, но не выплачете все свои слезыФ.


Inversion of noun + pronoun type is another feature that creates the poetic effect and the effect of an epic narration: УЕѕусть даже пути ее круты и опасныЕ; пусть даже голос ее развеет ваши мечтыЕ; укрыть наготу свою одеждамиЕ; но в единении вашем пусть будут пространстваЕ; семена твои останутс¤ жить в моем теле, / » бутоны твоего завтра распуст¤тс¤ в моем сердце, / » дыханием моим будет твой ароматЕФ.

It is important to mention that the most frequent types among subordinate sentences are the clauses of time, reason and condition. However it is more typical of the author to use compound sentences. While translating compound sentences into Russian we more often used conjunction но instead of a:


Уне во сне, но на¤ву говорю вамФ, УЕи если трудитьс¤ без любви, но с отвращениемФ, УучительЕделитс¤ с ними не мудростью, но скорее Е верой и любовью. / » если он вправду мудр, то не пригласит вас войти в дом его мудрости, но скорее подведет вас к порогу вашего собственного сознани¤Ф, etc.





The research conducted in this paper leads us to a number of significant theoretical conclusions, and observations of practical nature. First of all, it allowed us to introduce a more detailed definition of the notion of genre, the linguistic side of which is of a particular value for the art of translation: we assume that no effort in stylised writing and stylised translation is possible without taking into account "the bricks" Ц material, "tangible" elements of the imitated text Ц words, phrases, and the way they are syntactically arranged in the text. Although every exercise in creating an artistic text is an intuitive process predetermined by aesthetic tastes of a writer, Ц we hope that the results of this research will allow literary critics to enhance their often intuitive assessments of the aesthetic qualities and genre peculiarities of a work of fiction with more "objective" linguistic criteria in their hands.

Secondly Ц an attempt to bring closer together the linguistic and the notional sides of a literary text in the process of genre analysis opens a range of new opportunities in linguopoetic studies. Recent developments in the area revealed the necessity to speak of "linguopoetic typology" of literary works. We hope that the results of this research may prove useful for further elaboration of this most important theoretical proposition.

The third result of the paper is more of a practical significance. Our analysis (mostly the practical side of it Ц an exercise in stylised translation) proved once again the validity of "stylistic comparison" of the constituent linguistic, and notional elements of the text with the aim of establishing the so-called aesthetic perspective of a piece of artistic writing. Results of this validation (often conducted intuitively by many writers and readers) may allow a styliser come to a decision concerning the side of aesthetic structure of the source text to be imitated. Very often a mere reproduction of the limited number of secondary, decorative elements of the source text may be sufficient for the creation of the desired effect in the target text. It appears therefore, that the process of stylisation often rests on the estimation of "the necessary and sufficient" volume of imitated elements the introduction of which in the target text should not blur but rather add to the expression of this or that work's "aesthetic core".

Other results of this paper concern particularly Kahlil Gibran's work "The Prophet". Research has established a connection between this work and the genres of the ancient literary traditions of the Middle East Ц the Sufi poetic literary tradition and the Bible. The most vivid traits of the Sufi tradition were on the notional level: Gibran uses allegories and symbols of the ship, sleep, flute, wine, veils, Beloved Ц that are typical of the medieval Arabic and Persian poetry largely reflecting the essence of Sufism. Biblical symbols can also be found in the book: a sower, vineyard, etc. Some of the images are shared by both traditions: images of wine and beloved, for example.

The features of the biblical tradition dominate the lexical and the syntactic levels of the work: there is a great number of words, expressions, and quotes that can be associated with the Bible: prophet, prayer, chastisement, righteous, season, communion, to deliver unto oneТs hand, the sweat of your brow, to become a stranger unto something, a den of thieves, a divided house, verily, etc. The effect of an elevated narration is created through the use of literary, archaic and poetic words: mariner, pinion, raiment, oftentimes, to perish, ether, to abide, etc.

In terms of syntax there were found figures of speech traditional for Oriental poetics (not solely for the Bible), they are: polysyndeton, lexical and syntactic parallelism, inversion, amplification, contraries, and rhetorical questions. The use of the modal verb shall is also a sign of the biblical influence on УThe ProphetТsФ style.

Thus we expose the authorТs conscious intention to reproduce biblical style which he considered the best framing for his spiritual ideas.

Our analysis of the source text and practical exploration of the text in the course of translation allowed us to work out the following core stylisation devices for the adequate rendering of Gibran's text in Russian:

-              finding equivalents for the biblical words and stock phrases with the help of the Russian Translation of the Bible such as: verily - воистину/истинно, the sweat of your brow Ц потом лица своего, etc.;

-              using the archaic and literary words: curse written upon your brow Ц прокл¤тье, начертанное на вашем челе, for Ц ибо, complex object Ц дабы, etc.;

-              establishing the corresponding syntactic patterns between the English and the Russian Translations of the Bibles, such as even asЕ, soЕ; asЕ, soЕ - какЕ, такЕ; inversion of noun + pronoun and predicate + subject types; omission of the subject in either the subordinate or relative clauses;

-              preserving when possible the elements of the authorТs individual style, such as rhythm and alliteration: a fetter and a fouling of mind Ц нечистые путы, что оплели ваш разум.





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36.   омиссаров ¬.Ќ. Ћингвистика перевода. Ц ћосква, 1980.

37.   омиссаров ¬.Ќ. —лово о переводе (ќчерк лингвистического учени¤ о переводе) Ц ћ.: Ућеждународные отношени¤Ф, 1973.

38.   онурбаев ћ.Ё. Ѕибли¤  орол¤ »акова в лингвопоэтическом освещении. Ц  анд. дисс., ћосква, 1998.

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Internet Links:






5.        http://www/







 алиль ƒжибран




перевод ≈лены Ѕочаровой





» сказала тогда јльмитра: У„то скажешь ты о Ћюбви?Ф

» подн¤л он голову и посмотрел на людей, и воцарилось молчание.

» проникновенным голосом заговорил он тогда:

 огда любовь манит вас, следуйте за ней,

ѕусть даже пути ее круты и опасны.

» когда крыль¤ любви обвивают вас, не противьтесь ей,

ѕусть даже меч, скрытый под ними, может ранить вас.

» когда Ћюбовь говорит с вами, верьтев нее,

ѕусть даже голос ее может разве¤ть ваши мечты,

 ак северный ветер превращает в пустыню цветущий сад.



Ћюбовь и коронует, и распинает вас.

ќна и помогает вам расти, и обрезает ваши ветви, чтобы ускорить их рост.

ќна поднимаетс¤ к самой верхушке кроны и ласкает ваши нежнейшие ветви, трепещущие в солнечном свете;

ќна спускаетс¤ к вашим корн¤м и провер¤ет, насколько крепко они сид¤т в земле.



 ак кукурузные початки собирает она вас.

«атем молотит, чтобыоголить вас до основани¤.

ѕросеивает, чтобы освободить от шелухи.

–азмалывает, пока не превратит вас в белую муку.

«атем вы Ц м¤гкое тесто в ее руках;

ј после Ц любовь поручает вас св¤щенному огню, чтоб стали вы св¤щенным хлебом дл¤ св¤щенной трапезы √оспода.



¬се это проделает с вами Ћюбовь, дабы познали вы тайны своего сердца и знанием этим приобщились к сердцу самой ∆изни.



Ќо если, убо¤вшись, станете искать в Ћюбви лишь поко¤ и удовольстви¤,

“огда лучше вам укрыть наготу свою одеждами и уйти с молотильного тока любви

¬ мир, где не бывает ни зимы, ни лета, и где будете сме¤тьс¤, но не растратите весь свой смех, будете рыдать, но не выплачете все свои слезы.



Ћюбовь ничего не дает, кроме себ¤, и ничего не берет, кроме как от себ¤ самой.

Ћюбовь никем не владеет и никто не владеет Ћюбовью;

»бо Ћюбовь довольствуетс¤ Ћюбовью.



 огда любите, не говорите: У√осподь пребывает в моем сердцеФ, но говорите лучше: Уя пребываю в сердце √осподаФ.

»не думайте, что можете править пут¤ми Ћюбви, ибо если Ћюбовь сочтет вас достойными, то сама будет указывать вам путь.


” Ћюбви нет иного желани¤, кроме как любить.

» если любите и желаете Ц пусть желани¤ми вашими будут:

–аста¤ть и быть, как журчащий ручей, что поет свою песню ночи;

ѕознать боль чрезмерной нежности;

Ѕыть раненным собственным пониманием Ћюбви;

» истекать кровью охотно и радостно;

ѕросыпатьс¤ на рассвете с окрыленным сердцем и благодарить √оспода еще за один день Ћюбви;

ќтдыхать в полуденный час и размышл¤ть о наивысшей радости Ћюбви;

¬озвращатьс¤ в вечерний час домой исполненным благодарности;

» засыпать с молитвой о возлюбленном в сердце и хвалебной песнью √осподу на устах.




“огда јльмитра заговорила снова и спросила: Уј что ты скажешь о Ѕраке, учитель?Ф

» тот отвечал:

¬месте были вы рождены и вместе останетесь вы на веки вечные.

“ак будет и в ту пору, когда белые крыль¤ смерти разбросают ваши дни.

» даже в безмолвной пам¤ти √оспода вы пребудете вместе вовеки.

Ќо в единстве вашем пусть остаютс¤ пространства,

» пусть меж вами танцуют ветры небес.



Ћюбите друг друга, но не превращайте любовь в узы.

ѕусть лучше будет она волнующимс¤ морем меж берегами ваших душ.

Ќаполн¤йте чаши друг друга, но не пейте только из одной чаши.

ƒелитесь друг с другом хлебом, но не ешьте только от одного куска.

ѕойте и танцуйте вместе, и радуйтесь, но пусть каждый из вас будет одинок,

ѕодобно тому, как струны на лютне отсто¤т друг от друга, хот¤ вместе издают звуки одной мелодии.

ќтдавайте друг другу сердца, но не так, чтобы один был хоз¤ином другого.

»бо только ∆изнь владеет вашими сердцами.

Ѕудьте близки, но все же не слишком р¤дом:

»бо колонны в храме сто¤т на рассто¤нии,

ј дуб и кипарис не растут в тени друг друга.




» спросила тогда женщина с младенцем на руках: У„то скажешь ты о ƒет¤х?

» тот отвечал:

¬аши дети Ц не ваши дети.

ќни Ц сыны и дочери жизни, что жаждет собственного продолжени¤.

¬ами они рождены, но не от вас,

» хот¤ с вами живут они, Ц вам не принадлежат.



ћожно подарить им свою любовь, но не мысли,

»бо у них есть собственные мысли.

ћожно дать жилище их телам, но не душам,

»бо души их обитают там, где завтрашний день, и куда вам не попасть даже в своих мечтах.

ћожно подражать им, но не пытайтесь сделать их подобными себе.

»бо ∆изнь движетс¤ только вперед,

» вернуть вчерашний день невозможно.

¬ы Ц луки, посылающие вперед живые стрелы.

Ћучник видит метку на тропе бесконечного, и изо всех сил нат¤гивает тетиву, чтобы стрелы ≈го полетели быстро и далеко.

–адуйтесь, когда Ћучник сгибает вас своей рукой;

»бо ќн любит не только быструю стрелу, но и верный лук.




—просил тогда старик, хоз¤ин гостевого дома: У„то скажешь ты о ≈де и ѕитье?Ф.

» тот отвечал:

O, если бы мог человек существовать, довольству¤сь запахом земли или, подобно цветку, пита¤сь солнечным светом!

Ќо раз должен он убивать ради пищи, и отрывать новорожденных от молока матери ради утолени¤ жажды, пусть станут св¤щеннодействием его поступки.

» пусть стол его будет алтарем, на котором приносит он в жертву невинных и чистых обитателей лесов и равнин во им¤ того, что еще чище и невиннее в человеке.



 огда станешь убивать животное, обратись к нему в сердце своем так: У—ила, что умерщвл¤ет теб¤ сейчас, настигнет и мен¤, и мен¤ поглотит она, как и сила, поглотивша¤ теб¤.

»бо закон, что отдает теб¤ в руки мои, предаст мен¤ руке еще более могущественной.

 ровь тво¤ и мо¤ суть живительный сок, питающий небесное древо.



ј когда надкусываете ¤блоко, так обратитесь к нему в своем сердце: У—емена твои останутс¤ жить в моем теле,

» бутоны твоего завтра распуст¤тс¤ в моем сердце,

» дыханием моим будет твой аромат,

» во все времена мы будем радоватьс¤ вместеФ.



ј осенью, собира¤ урожай с виноградников, так говорите в сердце своем:

У» ¤ виноградник, и плоды мои тоже будут собраны, чтобы сделать из них вино;

»,как молодое вино, ¤ буду хранитьс¤ в вечных сосудахФ.

ј зимой,когда откроете вы сосуд с вином, пусть в сердце вашем поетс¤ песн¤ за каждую чашу;

¬споминайте в песне и осенние дни, и виноградник, и виноградный пресс, выжавший сок.



» спросил тогда землепашец:

„то скажешь ты о “руде?

» тот отвечал:

“рудитьс¤ Ц значит следовать ритму «емли и ее ƒуши.

»бо жить в праздности Ц значит стать чужим дл¤ времени и выйти из шестви¤ жизни, что направл¤етс¤ в величии и гордом смирении к бесконечному.




«а работой вы Ц флейта, сквозь сердце которой шепот часов превращаетс¤ в музыку.

 то из вас осталс¤ бы тростниковой дудочкой, немой и беззвучной, когда все вокруг поет в унисон?



¬от вам всегда говорили, что трудЦ прокл¤тье, а вс¤ка¤ работа Цнесчастье.

Ќо ¤ говорю вам, что за работой воплощаете вы часть великого замысла «емли, предначертанного вам дл¤ исполнени¤.

“от, кто неустанно трудитс¤ Ц воистину любит жизнь,

» тот, кто любит жизнь в труде, Ц познал величайшую тайну жизни.

Ќо если, в отча¤нии, назовете час своего рождени¤ несчастьем, а заботу о плоти Ц прокл¤тьем, начертанном на вашем челе, то отвечу ¤, что только пóтом лица своего смоете начертанное.




¬ас также учили, что жизнь есть мрак, и вы, утомленные, вторите тем, кто сам утомлен.

» ¤ скажу вам, что жизнь на самом деле есть мрак, когда нет стремлени¤.

Ќо вс¤кое стремление слепо, когда нет знани¤.

» вс¤кое знание тщетно, если нет труда,

» вс¤кий труд бесцелен, когда нет любви.

Ќо когда трудишьс¤ с любовью, то становишьс¤ ближе к самому себе, и к тому, кто р¤дом, и к Ѕогу.



»бо что значит трудитьс¤ с любовью?

Ёто значит ткать полотно нит¤ми своего сердца, как если бы возлюбленна¤ должна была носить платье из этого полотна.

Ёто значит быть влюбленным и строить дом, как если бы возлюбленна¤ должна была жить в этом доме.

Ёто значит с нежностью се¤ть семена и с радостью убирать урожай, как если бы возлюбленна¤ должна была вкусить собранные плоды.

Ёто значит вдыхать в создаваемые вещи частицу своей души

» знать, что души благословленных √осподом сто¤т вокруг и наблюдают за вашей работой.


„асто слышал ¤, как говорите вы, словно во сне: У–езчик по мрамору, воплощающий в камне частицу души, благороднее того, кто пашет землю.

» тот, кому послушны краски радуги, предстающие на холсте в образе человека, достойнее того, кто плетет сандалии дл¤ наших ногФ.

Ќо не во сне, на¤ву, говорю вам, что ветер одинаково ласков и с гигантскими дубами, и с самой низенькой травинкой.

» только тот велик, кто любовью своей превращает голос ветра в сладкозвучную песню.




“руд Ц это ставша¤ зримой любовь.

» если трудитьс¤ без любви, но с отвращением, то лучше оставить свою работу и, сид¤ у ворот храма, просить пода¤ни¤ у тех, кому труд в радость.

ѕотому что, если печь хлеб с равнодушием, он будет горек и утолит голод лишь наполовину.

» если выжимать виноградный сок с неохотой, в вине проснетс¤ ¤д.

» если петь, подобно сонму ангелов, но ненавидеть пение, Цдуши людей останутс¤ глухи к голосам дн¤ и звукам ночи.


» тогда спросила кака¤-то женщина: У„то скажешь ты о –адости и ѕечали?Ф

» тот отвечал:

ѕод маской печали всегда скрываетс¤ радость.

» часто колодец, откуда раздаетс¤ сейчасваш смех, был полон ваших слез.

ƒа и может ли быть иначе?

„ем шире пустóты, оставл¤емые в вашей душе печалью, тем больше радости смогут они вместить.

Ќе была ли чаша, что наполнена вашим вином, обожжена в печи горшечника,

» лютн¤, что услаждает ваше сердце, не вырезана ли при помощи ножа?

 огда вы радуетесь, загл¤ните вглубь своего сердца, и вы увидите, что радуетесь тому, что прежде печалило вас.

 огда вы печалитесь, снова вгл¤дитесь в свое сердце, и вы увидите, что, воистину, плачете о том, что некогда было вашей отрадой.



 то-то скажет: У–адость сильнее печалиФ, а кто-то возразит: Уѕечаль сильнее радостиФ.

Ќо говорю ¤ вам: они неразлучны. ѕечаль и радость приход¤т вместе, и когда одна сидит за вашим столом, помните, что друга¤ дремлет сейчас на вашей постели.



¬оистину, человек подобен весам, на одной чаше которых радость, а на другой Ц печаль.

“олько когда в душе вашей пусто, весы неподвижны и наход¤тс¤ в равновесии.

 огда же хранитель сокровищ кладет на них злато и серебро, одна чаша должна неизменно перевеситьдругую.




» спросил ткач: У„то скажешь ты об ќдежде?Ф

» тот отвечал:

ћного прекрасного скрываетс¤ за вашей одеждой, однако под ней не укрыть того, что в вас безобразно.

» хот¤ ищите вы в одежде своей источник личной свободы, в ней найдете вы источник рабства.

я бы желал, чтобы солнце и ветер ласкали не ваши одежды, но вашу кожу.

»бо дыхание жизни Ц в солнечном свете, а десница жизниЦв ветре.



¬от говор¤т одни: У“о был северный ветер, соткавший нашу одеждуФ.

» ¤ скажу, да, то был северный ветер.

Ќо станком его был стыд, а нит¤ми его Ц м¤гкие сухожили¤.

» когда работа его завершилась, он рассме¤лс¤ в лесу.

ѕомните, что скромность есть щит ваш от глаз нечестивых.

 огда же не станет более нечестивых людей,

„ем окажетс¤ ваша скромность? Ќечистыми путами, что оплели ваш разум.

» помните: «емле отрадно чувствовать шаги ваших босых ног, и жаждут ветры поиграть вашими волосами.




» попросил тогда торговец: У—кажи нам о том, как ѕокупать и ѕродаватьФ.

» тот отвечал: У«емл¤ преподносит вам свои плоды; и если научитесь принимать их, то не будете нуждатьс¤.

»бо в обмене дарами «емли познаете достаток во всем и насытитесь.

Ќо если не будет в нем любви и сердечной справедливости, однихобу¤ет жадность, другихже постигнет голод.



 огда вы, труженики морей, полей и виноградников, встретитесь на рыночной площади с ткачами, гончарами и собирател¤ми пр¤ностей,

¬ызовите главного духа земли, чтобы спустилс¤ он к вам и осв¤тил весы и мерила, по которым определ¤ют ценность того или иного товара.

» не позвол¤йте принимать участие в обмене люд¤м с пустыми руками, которые расплат¤тс¤ за ваш труд своими словами.

“аким люд¤м говорите:

У»дите с нами на пол¤ или отправл¤йтесь с брать¤ми нашими в море и закидывайте свой невод.

»бо земл¤ и море будут одинаково щедры как с вами, так и с намиФ.



» если придут певцы, танцоры и флейтисты Ц также приобретите от их даров.

»бо они тоже собиратели плодов и благовоний. » пусть то, что принос¤т они, не создано из материи, дары их будут оде¤нием и пищей дл¤ вашей души.



» перед тем, как покинуть рынок, убедитесь, что никто не ушел с пустыми руками.

»бо главный дух земли не сможет спокойно почивать на ветре, пока нужды последнего из вас не удовлетворены.




» тогда заговорила женщина и спросила: У„то скажешь ты о Ѕоли?Ф

» он сказал:

Ѕоль Ц это прорыв оболочки, что сковывает ваше сознание.

ѕодобно тому, как сем¤ плода должно раскрытьс¤, чтобы росток его увидел солнце, так и вы должны познать боль.

» если бы сердца ваши сохранили способность изумл¤тьс¤ чудесам, что денно преподносит вам ваша жизнь, то боль удивл¤ла бы вас не меньше, чем радость.

» смена времен года в вашем сердце была бы так же привычна дл¤ вас, как приход весны или осени на ваши пол¤.

» безм¤тежным оставалс¤ бы взгл¤д ваш, устремленный сквозь зимы вашей печали.



»щите источник боли в самих себе.

»бо боль Ц горькое снадобье, которым доктор внутри вас врачует вашу больную сущность.

ј посему Ц доверьтесь доктору и примите лекарство его в молчании и спокойствии;

»бо руку его, пусть т¤жела и груба она, направл¤ет нежна¤ рука Ќезримого,

» пусть чаша, что подносит он к губам вашим, обжигает их, помните, она вылеплена из глины, смоченной св¤щенными слезами √ончара.




» спросил муж: У„то скажешь ты о —амопознании?Ф

» сказал он в ответ:

—ердца ваши хран¤т в молчании секреты дней и ночей.

Ќо уши ваши жаждут услышать то, что ведомо вашему сердцу.

¬ы желаете облечь в слова свои помыслы.

» не терпитс¤ вам коснутьс¤ пальцами нагого тела своих мечтаний.



» это хорошо.

—крытый родник души вашей должен пробить себе путь и, журча, устремитьс¤ к морю,

» тогда глазам вашим предстанет сокровище, подн¤тое с бездонных глубин вашей души,

» пусть не будет таких весов, что определили бы вес этого неведомого клада.

» не пытайтесь измерить глубину своего познани¤шестом и грузилом.

»бо человек подобен морю Ц бескрайнему и неизмеримому.

Ќе говорите: Уя познал истинуФ, но скажите лучше: Уя познал одну из истинФ.

Ќе говорите: Уя нашел путь душиФ, но: Уя встретил душу, идущую по моему путиФ.

»бо путь души пролегает по всем тропам.

» путь ее Ц не пр¤ма¤ лини¤, и не растет душа, подобно тростнику,

ƒуша раскрываетс¤, подобно тому, как цветок лотоса распускает свои бесчисленные лепестки.




» спросил тогда учитель:

„то скажешь ты об ”чении?

» тот отвечал:

Ќи один человек не сможет открыть вам того, что уже лежит в полудреме на заре вашего сознани¤.

”читель, прогуливающийс¤ в тени храма со своими учениками, делитс¤ с ними не мудростью, но скорее своей верой и любовью.

» если он и вправду мудр, то не пригласит вас войти в дом его мудрости, но скорее подведет вас к порогу вашего собственного сознани¤.

јстроном может рассказывать вам о своем понимании мироздани¤, но он не сможет передать вам своего понимани¤.

ћузыкант может напеть вам мелодию, что слышитс¤ во всем, но он не сможет дать вам ни слуха, чтобы уловить ритм, ни голоса, чтобы вторить ему.

» тот, кто силен в науке цифр, может поведать вам о царстве мер и веса, но не сможет проводить вас туда.

»бо видение одного человека не одалживает свои крыль¤ другому.

ѕодобно тому, как каждый из вас Ц единственный в сознании Ѕога, так каждому из вас надлежит быть одиноким в познании Ѕога и в понимании «емли.





» спросил тогда один из старейшин города: У„то скажешь ты о ƒобре и «леФ.

» тот отвечал:

ќ добром в вас ¤ могу говорить, но не о злом.

»бо что есть зло, как не добро, измученное голодом и жаждой?

¬оистину, испытыва¤ голод, добро ищет пищу даже в темных пещерах, и мучимое жаждой, утол¤ет ее мертвой водой.



ƒобрый человек Ц единое целое.

Ќо и не будучи единым целым человек не зол.

»бо дом, разделившийс¤ в себе Ц еще не вертеп разбойников; это просто дом, где нет согласи¤.

» корабль, штурвал которого сломан, может бесцельно скитатьс¤ по морю, полному опасных рифов, но все же не пойти ко дну.



¬ы добры, когда стремитесь поделитьс¤ частицей себ¤.

Ќо и не злы, если ищите пользы дл¤ самих себ¤.

»бо в стремлении к собственной выгоде человек есть корень, что врос в землю и сосет ее грудь.

 орню не скажет плод, УЅудь, подобно мне, спелым и сочным, и щедрым в своем обилииФ.

»бо если плоду предназначено отдавать,

“о назначение корн¤ Ц брать.


¬ы добры, когда в речи своей свободны от сна,

Ќо и не злы, если во сне ¤зык ваш бормочет бессмыслицу.

»бо даже нестройна¤ речь надел¤ет силой слабый ¤зык.



¬ы добры, когда твердым и решительным шагом идете к своей цели.

Ќо и не злы, если направл¤етесь к ней прихрамыва¤.

»бо даже тот, кто хром, стремитс¤ только вперед.

Ќо тот, кто силен и быстр, не должен сдерживать шага ради калек, счита¤ это про¤влением доброты.


Ќе знают границ и числа ваши добрые поступки, но и ваше бездействие Ц еще не признак злой натуры

»бо человеку свойственно быть медлительным и ленивым.

∆аль, что олень не может научить быстроте и стремительности черепаху.



“о хорошее, что присуще всем вам, кроетс¤ в желании обрести своЄ гигантское УяФ.

Ќо в одних желание это Ц неистовый поток, мчащийс¤ к морю и несущий секреты холмов и песни лесов.

¬ других же оно Ц мелкий ручей, что тер¤етс¤ в собственных изгибах и извиваетс¤, и медлит, пока не достигнет мор¤.

ѕусть же не говорит тот, кто желает многого, тому, кто желает малого, У„то медлишь ты и спотыкаешьс¤?Ф

»бо истинно добрый человек не спрашивает нагого: У√де твое платье?Ф и не задает вопроса бездомному: У акое несчастье постигло твой дом?Ф




» спросила тогда служительница храма: У„то скажешь ты о ћолитве?Ф

» он изрек им в ответ:

¬ы читаете молитву, когда оказываетесь в отча¤нии и нужде.

Ќо как бы хотел ¤, чтобы молились вы и в наивысший момент своей радости, и в дни своего благополучи¤!



»бо что есть молитва, как не растворение в Ѕоге?

» если успокоение ваше в том, чтобы излить мрак души своей во мрак космоса, то радость ваша в том, чтобы выплеснуть наружу занимающуюс¤ зарю своего сердца.

» если рыдаете, когда душа призывает вас к молитве, душа ваша, плача, будет побуждать к ней снова и снова, пока не засмеЄтесь.

¬о врем¤ молитвы вы отрываетесь от земли, чтобы встретитьс¤ с теми, кто тоже молитс¤ в этот же час, и кто недос¤гаем, когда нет молитвы.

ѕотому приходите в этот незримый храм лишь ради великой радости и сладостного приобщени¤.

»бо если придете в храм с единственной целью Ц просить, то ничего не получите.

» если войдете туда, чтобы смиренно унизитьс¤ пред √осподом, то не возвыситесь.

» даже когда придете молить √оспода о благополучии других, то не будете услышаны.

ѕросто войдите в невидимый храм.



ћне не научить вас словам молитвы.

√осподь внемлет словам вашим лишь тогда, когда —ам говорит вашими устами.

» мне не научить вас молитвам морей, лесов, и гор.

»бо вы, дети гор, лесов, и морей, сами отыщете эти слова в своих сердцах.

—тоит вам только прислушатьс¤, и в безмолвной ночи вы услышите их голоса:

У√осподь наш, наше окрыленное ¤, вол¤ “во¤ повелевает в нас.

∆еланием “воим желаем мы.

«ов “вой внутри нас превращает ночи, которые от “еб¤, в дни, которые от “еб¤ также.

ћы не можем просить “еб¤ о чем-либо, ибо “ы знаешь нужды наши прежде, чем они рождаютс¤ в нас:

“ы есть нужда наша; и, ода𤤠нас частицей себ¤, “ы даешь нам все необходимоеФ.




» тогда отшельник, который раз в год приходил в город, вышел вперед и спросил: У„то скажешь ты об ”довольствии?Ф

» сказал он в ответ:

”довольствие Ц песнь, дарующа¤ свободу.

Ќо не сама свобода.

Ёто цветение ваших желаний, но не их плод.

Ёто бездна, взывающа¤ к вершине,

Ќо не камень на дне и не облако в вышине.

”довольствие Ц птица, готова¤ вылететь из клетки, но не пространство, заключенное за ее пруть¤ми.

¬оистину удовольствие Ц освобождающа¤ песнь.

» ¤ бы желал, чтобы песнь эту пело все ваше сердце;

Ќо чтоб не забылось оно и не потер¤ло себ¤в звуках песни.



“от, кто молод Ц ищет удовольстви¤, как если бы в нем был смысл всей жизни; и таким достаютс¤ упреки и осуждение.

я же не упрекаю и не осуждаю их.

я бы желал, чтобы искали они.

»бо не только удовольствие будет их наградой.

≈сть у удовольстви¤ семь сестер, и сама¤ младша¤ из них прекраснее всех удовольствий.

–азве не слышали вы историю о человеке, который копал землю в поисках съедобных кореньев, и нашел сокровище?



» тот, кто стар, вспоминает об изведанныхнаслаждени¤х с чувством раска¤нь¤, как если бы это были проступки, совершенные в опь¤неньи.

–аска¤нье же Ц смущение разума, но не очищение его.

“акие пусть вспоминают об удовольстви¤х с благодарностью, как если бы то была пам¤ть о богатом урожае.

Ќо если в раска¤нии лежит утешение их, путь утешатс¤.



» есть среди вас такие, кто не молод уже дл¤ поисков, и не стар еще дл¤ воспоминаний;

Ќо кто в ужасе пред тем и другим избегают удовольствий, дабы не забыть о душе и не осквернить ее.

» в этом есть радость их.

» они тоже найдут сокровище, хот¤ дрожащими руками разрывают землю в поисках кореньев.

—кажите мне, что может осквернить душу?

ќскорбл¤ет ли соловей своей песнью тишину ночи, а светл¤к своим полетом Ц звезды?

»ли, может, огонь и дым вашего очага обременительны дл¤ ветра?

—читаете ли дух свой спокойным озером, которое можете тревожить веслом?

„асто, отказыва¤ себе в удовольстви¤х, вы лишь накапливаетенеутоленные желани¤ в тайниках своей души.

Ќо кто знает, может то, от чего отказываетесь сегодн¤, познаете завтра?

»бо даже тело ваше помнит о том, что наследует, и о положенном ему, и вам не обмануть его.

ј тело Ц это арфа души,

» зависит от вас, извлечете ли из нее сладкую песню, или бессв¤зные звуки.



» вы спрашиваете сейчас в сердце: У ак отличить то, что в удовольствии хорошо, от того, что в нем пагубно?Ф

»дите на пол¤ свои и в сады ваши, и там узнаете вы, как отрадно собирать пчеле нектар с цветка,

» цветку отрадно отдавать пчеле нектар.

»бо цветок дл¤ пчелы Ц бьющий источник жизни,

ј пчела дл¤ цветка Ц посланница любви,

» что дл¤ пчелы и цветка возможность дарить и собирать нектар Ц то дл¤ них потребность и высша¤ радость.



∆ители ќрфалеза, будьте же в радост¤х своих подобны цветку и пчеле.




» тогда јльмитра сказала: У“еперь спросим мы о —мертиФ.

» тот отвечал:

¬ назначенный час познаете вы тайну смерти.

Ќо как познаете ее, если не будете искать в сердце самой жизни?

—ова, чьи глаза слепы днем, никогда не раскроет тайнысолнечного света.

≈сли на самом деле предстоит вам узреть дух смерти, распахните свое сердце навстречу жизни.

»бо жизнь и смерть Ц суть едины, как едины река и море.



¬ глубине своих надежд и желаний кроетс¤ ваше безмолвное знание того мира.

» как дремлющие под снегом семена, сердце ваше мечтает о приходе весны.

ƒоверьтесь мечтам, ибо в них сокрыта дорога к вечности.



„то страх ваш пред смертью Ц дрожь пастуха перед лицом владыки, что намерен наградить его из своих рук.

Ќе радуетс¤ ли пастух, несмотр¤ на дрожь свою, что будет носить на себе печать королевской милости?

» все же не страшитс¤ ли он дрожи своей больше?



»бо что значит —мерть Ц как не сто¤ние нагим на ветру и та¤ние в лучах солнца?

» что значит не дышать более Ц как не освобождение дыхани¤ от стесн¤ющих вдохов,

„тобы взлетело оно и растворилось и, свободное, искало Ѕога?



“олько испив из реки безмолви¤, сможете вы запеть.

» только достигнув вершины горы, начнете вы свое восхождение.

» только когда члены ваши в земле обрат¤тс¤ в прах, будет искусен ваш танец.



Russia, 119899 Moscow, Vorobyovy Gory, The Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1st Humanities, Faculty of Philology,

Department of English Linguistics, Room 1046, Tel: + 7 (095) 939-2036, Fax: +7 (095) 939-51-14 E-mail:


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[1] The method of linguopoetic analysis as a part of linguopoetics implies the studying of the whole complex of linguistic means in a work of fiction, employed by an author in order to achieve the desirable aesthetic effect, which reflects his individual aesthetic design. Linguopoetic analysis envisages a text as a global work of art, it also involves the historical, and cultural backgrounds. The methodological difference between the linguopoetic and linguostylistic analysis is that the first deals with the imaginative writings only, and the second Ц with any kind of text [cf. 31].

[2] Cf. "The battle of style against substance" // The Sunday Times, 29 April, 2001.

[3] Speaking of genres it is necessary to point out that Western scholars use one and the same word Ц УgenreФ- for denoting the epic narrative, lyrics and drama as well as their subdivisions: fairy-tales, fables, love poems, sonnets, novels, tragedies, comedies, etc. To avoid confusion, we suggest using the term literary genus for denoting the epic and lyrical narrative, and drama as it is accepted in this paper.

[4] As has been rightly indicated in one of the latest publications on stylisation, which makes use ofour definition of the term genre Ц Уthis definition is designed not as a general literary critical proposition but specifically for research on the theory and practice of stylisation (genre stylisation in particular). For the original work of art, linguistic peculiarities per se might not be the most important constituent part (in which case other elements may acquire prominence, e.g. the composition of a text etc.); but for a stylised text, it is the linguistic side of the original that comes to the fore and acquires specific importance in the process of imitationФ See Eugenia Semeniouk УOn Style and StylisationФ. Ц Moscow, 2001.

1 Gibran admitted the influence of the Holy Book over his style, especially of the Syriac Bible (Peshitta).

1 We believe, Chukovsky meant here that a translator should know his native tongue well, and not to violate its norms following the original word by word. He in no way suggested ignoring the syntactic features of the original.

[6] What we mean by Уcreativity and imaginationФ is the qualities that help a translator seek and find successful equivalents.

1 ѕричастие Ц 1) то же, что и причащение, т.е. христианское таинство прин¤ти¤ причасти¤; 2) символизирующее крови и тело »исуса ’риста вино в чаше с кусочками просвирыЕ (“олковый словарь русского ¤зыка /ѕод. ред. —.».ќжегова).

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