Archives for March 2008

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your earlier novels were set in older times, exotic (at least for Europeans) countries, and reminded more of old legends and fairy tales. But in recent novels, as Veronika Decides to Die and The Devil and Miss Prym you turn to the contemporary world. What is the reason for such a shift?

In fact, there is no time frame mention in The Devil & Miss Prym, or in The Alchemist. As for The Pilgrimage, my first book, it takes place in 1986, very recent and very realistic. I feel free to write, and therefore I have books that go back in time (The Fifth Mountain), timeless (The Alchemist, The Devil & Miss Prym), contemporary (Rio Piedra, Veronika, Pilgrimage), for example.

O Deus dos Valentes (in Portuguese)



a gift from Marcia Nascimento

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The noblest thing a human being can experience
is acceptance of the mystery.
(Brida)

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Nasrudin and the egg

By Paulo Coelho

One morning, Nasrudin – the great Sufi mystic who always pretended to be mad – wrapped an egg in a cloth, went into the town’s main square, and called the people who were there.

– Today there will be an important contest! – he said – Whoever discovers what is inside this cloth, will be given the egg inside it!

The people exchanged glances, intrigued, and answered:

– How can we know? No one is capable of divination!

Nasrudin insisted:

– That which is inside this cloth has a yellow center like a yolk, surrounded by a clear liquid like egg white, which in turn is contained inside a shell which breaks very easily. It is a symbol of fertility, and reminds us of birds flying to their nests. So, who can tell me what is hidden here?

All the folk thought Nasrudin was holding an egg, but the answer was so obvious, no one wanted to embarrass themselves in front of everyone else.

What if it wasn’t an egg, but something more important, a product of the fertile Sufi mystic’s imagination? A yellow center might suggest the sun, the surrounding liquid could be an alchemist’s concoction. No, the madman was definitely trying to make someone look a fool.

Nasrudin asked twice more, and no one dared say something foolish.

So he unwrapped the cloth and showed everyone the egg.

– You all knew the answer – he said – And no one dared put it into words.

“Such are the lives of those who haven’t the courage to risk: solutions are generously provided by God, but people always seek complicated explanations, and end up doing nothing.”

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

The action of Veronika Decides to Die takes place in Slovenia, and as you write, nobody knows where Slovenia is. Could you specify, in what way the experience of people living in the East Europe, in post-communist, post-totalitarian, “unknown” world, was interesting to you.

It is very interesting to me to write about cultures and countries that resist the threat to be wiped out from the map, because that shows that there live people strong enough to resist. This is a characteristic of the soul, and people who are able to resist the death of their culture, are good example to all of us.

Is the religion is something essentially masculine?

Brida
In Brida, a book of mine that will be published in various countries (from March onwards) but written in 1990, I already talked about the Great Mother and the pagan religions. Do you think, 18 years later, that people have become more open to this? Or do you think that religion is still something essentially masculine?

This book was released on March 3rd.
To buy, click here

You can also visit our e-cards page to send Brida Quotes to your friends or add to your blog. To go directly, click here

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

A blessing rejected becomes a curse.
(The Alchemist)

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

It seems, that the main motif of your books is the notion of what you call the Personal Legend. What does it mean to you personally? As we know, your life, from the very young years, was complicated, full of blows, disappointments and revelations.

This is what made me strong. We need to fight for our dreams, but we are always tested by God.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

By changing the way you do routine things
you allos a new person to grow inside of you.
(The Pilgrimage)

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Reflections of the Warrior of the Light

By Paulo Coelho

A warrior of the light does not only use his strength; he also uses his opponent’s energy.

Upon entering a combat, all he possesses is his enthusiasm, and the moves he learned during training; as the fight progresses, he discovers that his enthusiasm and training are not enough to win: experience is necessary.

So he opens his heart to the Universe, and asks God to inspire him, so that each of the enemy’s blows is also a lesson in defense for him.

His companions comment: “see how superstitious he is. He has stopped the fight in order to pray, and respects his adversary’s tricks.”

The warrior of the light pays these provocations no attention. He knows that without inspiration and experience, none of his training will bear fruit.

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

It is obvious from your books, that contemporary world, or society, seems to you too oppressive, too uniform. That people live, as your heroine of the River Piedra, seeking, what, in fact, they do not desire. In your opinion, what is the balance between traditions, prejudice, upbringing, etc. and personal responsibility of an individual for his/her own destiny?

We cannot blame anybody but ourselves. Freud was a nice guy, but he created this idea that our parents are responsible for everything that went wrong with our adulthood. Of course, as Ortega y Gasset says, “I am myself and my circumstance” but everybody is different, and must accept this. The frustrated Marxist experiment reassured us that first comes our individuality, and our sense of responsibility towards our neighbor.

The crazy magician is a superhero

A joke from Michel (Fan Club Franí§ais)!



Une vidéo amusante et rigolote de Paulo Coelho fait par Michel Hubert, le président du fan club franí§ais, juste pour s’amuser et faire un clin d’oeil í  une chanson écrite par Paulo, pour Raul Seixas, il y a longtemps et qui se nommait Superherois…

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

Seize every opportunity that life offers you because,
when opportunities go,
they take a long time to come back.
(The Fifth Mountain)

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In a bar in Buenos Aires

By Paulo Coelho

Dear readers,
Today is the last story of this book of mine called “Fathers, Sons and Grandsons”.
As promised here’s the illustration made by Christina Oiticica for you to download.
Fathers, Sons and Grandsons ( image version)
fathers-sons-and-grandsons.pdf ( pdf version )
Love,
Paulo

In a bar in Buenos Aires

I am with the Venezuelan writer Dulce Rojas, drinking coffee in Buenos Aires; we are discussing the idea of peace and how removed it has become from the human heart. Dulce then tells me the following story.

A king offered a large prize to the artist who could best represent the idea of peace. A lot of painters sent their works to the palace, depicting woods at dusk, quiet rivers, children playing on the sand, rainbows in the sky, drops of dew on a rose petal.

The king examined everything that was sent to him, but ended up choosing only two works.

The first showed a tranquil lake that perfectly mirrored the imposing mountains surrounding it and the blue sky above. The sky was dotted with small white clouds and, if you looked closely, in the left-hand corner of the lake there stood a small house with one window open and smoke rising from the chimney – the sign that a frugal but tasty supper was being prepared.

The second painting was also of mountains, but these were bleak and stony with sharp, sheer peaks. Above the mountains, the sky was implacably dark, and from the heavy clouds fell lightning, hail and torrential rain.

The painting was totally out of harmony with the other submissions. However, a closer look revealed a bird’s nest lodged in a crack in one of those inhospitable rocks. In the midst of the violent roaring of the storm, a swallow was calmly sitting on its nest.

When he gathered his court together, the king chose the second picture as the one that best expressed the idea of peace. He explained:

‘Peace is not what we find in a place that is free of noise, problems and hard work; peace is what allows us to preserve the calm in our hearts, even in the most adverse situations. That is its true and only meaning.

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

In one of your interviews, you have said, that you write for yourself, trying to answer some questions you have asked yourself. What was the question you tried to answer while writing your novel, The Devil and Miss Prym ?

Are we good because we are good, or are we good because temptation never tried us?

The Witch of Portobello (complete and free!)

Dear readers,
You can now browse the full edition of The Witch of Portobello (courtesy of Harper Collins). Therefore, you can read the first pages (or the full edition). If you decide do buy the book, there is a link on the left side.

The Witch of Portobello ( complete and free! )

This link will be there till the 11 of March. On the next months, we are going to have full editions online of all my titles published in English.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The Signs – at times imperceptible, at others very clear – are all around us.
But they require careful interpretation if they are to be transformed into a road map.
(Manual of a Warrior of Light)

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