Presented by Julia Ellsworth Ford to Kahlil Gibran. A wonderful association copy. The vital influence of Maeterlinck's metaphysics on Gibran's spiritual development is so well known as to need no amplification here. This particular essay,originally published as the concluding chapter of The Double Garden (1904), offers Maeterlinck's boldest statement of his modernist mysticism. "We no longer believe that this world is as the apple of the eye of one God who is alive to our slightest thoughts; but we know that it is subjected to forces quite as powerful, quite as alive to laws and duties which it behooves us to penetrate. That is why our attitude in the face of the mystery of these forces has changed. It no longer demands that the slave shall kneel before the master or the creator, but permits a gaze as between equals, for we bear within ourselves the equal of the deepest and greatest mysteries." Ford was one of Gibran's patrons, a leading member of the Brahminical set that included Fred Holland Day, Josephine Prescott Peabody, Witter Bynner, and of course Mary Haskell. Wealthy and social, she was a devotee of the pre-Raphaelites, and the doyenne of a salon in which Gibran, William Butler Yeats, and Isadora Duncan, were among the leading lights. In a letter to Florence Farr, John Quinn noted that Ford collected famous people "as other people did stamps or butterflies." She bought one of Gibran's paintings in 1914, and in later years he was a frequent visitor to her country estate in Rye, New York. Maeterlinck was very popular among the Boston set at the turn of the century -- Day photographed the Belgian author, and Josephine Peabody corresponded with him. This volume further illustrates the extent of Gilbran's exposure in his work. The book's publication date of 1908 suggests that the chronology of Gibran's years in Boston need to be revised. The excellent biography prepared from Mary Haskell's letters and diaries asserts that Gibran did not meet Ford until 1913. But this 1908 volume indicates an earlier acquaintance, especially since the young poet claimed in 1912 that he had grown disenchanted with Maeterlinck (who had just won the Nobel Prize), and was turning his attention to Ibsen and Nietzsche. Nevertheless, 15 years after he received this volume from Ford, Gibran would return to Maeterlinck's gnostic mysticism as he produced his own masterwork, The Prophet. 51 p.; 12mo (14 cm). Very good in wrappers. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: The Leaf of Olive -- KAHLIL GIBRAN'S COPY
Publisher: New York: Dodd, Mead,
Publication Date: 1908
Edition: First Thus.
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