“Why are writers afraid of social networks?”

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By Arantza Méndez-Aguirre

MADRID 23 November – Paulo Coelho needs no introduction or whatsoever sort of ceremony, and neither do all his personal achievements and professional rewards in life. A man difficult to define, whose only presence is enough to create a very especial, almost bewitching atmosphere: he speaks, the entire audience just listens…How can he manage to do such thing? May be just because gratefulness and appreciation for every single thing in life are ruling values for Paulo… Over the presentation of his last book, Manuscript found in Accra, Paulo openly shared with us his most sincere, bewildering feedback on trending-topics.

In his own words, ” writers tend nowadays to explore new means to share their work, as they all want their books to be read.” With nearly 500 million readers, he definitely know what he is saying. ” I can only write if I can count on the human contact, that is to say, people who can understand my soul, and if it happens, then we have a starting point, a point of mutual confidence ” .

” The books’ world is changing radically right now, as it did centuries ago. It was nonetheless a technological revolution itself, and now, we are simply living another one. Gutenberg faced similar problems. such as discovering the lead and antimony mix required for types, finding a new ink formula…to set a couple of examples – and deciding what to print. He chose the Bible, of course, which once again proved to be a source of new problems. The printing press caused the of Renaissance, where thinking is suddenly freed out to travel all over…the era of the privileged was over.”

“This is the same now with Social Networks, I love posting and blogging, with which I make zero money but, at the same time, I gain something by far more precious…the contact with the reader.

” I cannot help feeling surprise when contemporary writers complain about Social Networks, and the amount of information, which they deem as data bombing…It is just the possibility to choose, in my opinion, and it only makes us even more free….

“we are living a new Renaissance, if only we could see it…We do not like being romantic, but romanticism is here again….This is nonetheless the Internet Advent, where people start both thinking and share differently for the fist time in many years…”

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How one of the most important books in the world was written

Tao

In the twenty-third year of the reign of Zhao, Lao Tsu realized that the war would end up destroying the place where he lived. As he had spent years meditating on the meaning of life, he was quite aware that at certain moments one has to be practical. He decided to make the simplest decision: move home.

He gathered his few possessions and set out for Han Keou. At the gates of the city he came upon a guard.

– Where can such an important wise man be going? – asked the guard.

– Far from the war.

– You can’t leave just like that. I would very much like to know what you learned in so many years of meditation. I will only let you leave the city if you share with me what you know.

Lao Tsu wrote several pages there and handed the only copy to the man. Then he went on his journey and nobody ever heard of him again.

Lao Tsu’s text was copied and recopied, crossed centuries and millennia and has reached our times. It is called “Tao Te King” translated in nearly every language.

Here are some extracts:

He who knows others is wise.
He who knows himself is illuminated.
He who defeats others is strong.
He who defeats himself is powerful.
He who knows happiness is rich.
He who keeps his path is wilful.

Be humble and you will become whole.
Bend and you will become straight.
Empty yourself and you will become full.
Wear yourself out and you will become new.

The wise man does not show off, and so he shines.
He does not make himself known, and so he is noticed.
He does not praise himself, and so he has merit.
And because he does not compete,
none in the world can compete with him.