Archives for November 2014

Thoreau quotes

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.

Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality.

All this worldly wisdom was once the heresy of some wise man.

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends… Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.


Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher (and I must add, his book on Civil Disobedience (1849) was one of the major influences in my life )

Most common superstitions in Brasil

A bird in the house is a sign of a death

Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.

If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.

If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

To kill a cat brings seven years of bad luck

It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.

A horseshoe brings good luck

If a friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin (metal), or your friendship will soon be broken.

Walking under a ladder has long been regarded a bad luck

If you broke a mirror, you would break your future.

Many Brazilians dress in white on Fridays

Jigsaw puzzle

During a trip I received a fax from my secretary.

“One glass brick was missing for the kitchen’s reform,” she wrote. “I am sending you the original project and what the mason will be doing in order to compensate the fault.”

On one side, there was the project my wife had designed: harmonious rows with an opening for ventilation.

On the other side, the project that solved the lack of the brick: a true jigsaw puzzle, where the glass squares were placed with no aesthetics whatsoever.

“Just buy the missing brick,” wrote my wife.

That was done and the original design was maintained. On that afternoon I kept thinking for a long time about it: how many times, because of a simple missing brick, we completely distort the original project of our lives!

Arrogance is normally a banal mask of cowardice

Epictietus (AD 55 – AD 135) was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave in Greece, lived in Rome and was expelled and exiled to his homeland where he lived for most of his life.

During his exile, he created a way of teaching his disciples. Below, an excerpt of his book Discourses:

“Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become friends or we try to convince this person to accept our convictions. The same happens when a live coal touches another piece of coal: it either shares its fire with it or it becomes suffocated for its size and ends up extinguished.”

“As generally we are insecure at first contact, we try showing indifference, arrogance or excessive humbleness. The result is that we stop being ourselves and things begin to stray toward a strange world that doesn’t belong to us.

“In order to avoid this to happen, allow your good feelings to be noticed right away. Arrogance is normally a banal mask of cowardice, but it ends up preventing important things from blossoming in your life.”

Fair price

Nixivan had gathered his friend for supper and was brewing a juicy piece of meat. Suddenly, he noticed they were out of salt.

Nixivan called his son: “Go to the village and buy salt. But pay the fair price for it; neither pricier nor cheaper.”

His son was surprised:

“I understand I shouldn’t pay more, father. But if we can bargain a little, why not save some money?”

“In a large city, this is advisable”he said. ” However, in a small city as ours, the entire village will notice it.”

His guest overheard their conversation and wanted to know why one shouldn’t buy salt for less.

Nixivan answered: “Those who sell underpriced salt, do it in a desperate need for money. Those who take advantage of the situation, show disrespect for the sweat and battle of a man that worked to produce something.”

“But that is too little to destroy a village.”

“In the beginning of the world, injustice was scant as well. But everyone that came afterwards added something, thinking it was not important, and see where we got today.”

Power and glory

A certain king of Spain who was very proud of his ancestors was known for his cruelty toward those who were weaker than him.

Once he was travelling with his retinue over a field in Aragon where years ago he had lost his father in a battle, when he came upon a holy man rummaging through an enormous pile of bones.

“What are you up to there?” asked the king. “All honour to Your Majesty!” said the holy man.

“When I heard that the king of Spain was coming here, I decided to gather the bones of your deceased father and deliver them to you. But no matter how hard I look, I cannot find them: they are just the same as the bones of peasants, the poor, beggars and slaves.”

The student and the horse

The master was an austere man, so the disciple decided to lead a life of sacrifice by sleeping on a bed made of straw.

After some time the master noticed a change in his disciple’s behaviour and decided to find out what was happening.

“I am climbing the steps of initiation,” was the answer.

“The white of my garments shows the simplicity of the search, the vegetarian food purifies my body, and the lack of comfort makes me think only of spiritual things.”

Smiling, the master took him to a field where a horse was grazing.

“Do you see that animal over there? His skin is white, he eats only herbs, and he sleeps in a barn with a floor covered in straw. Do you think that he looks like a saint, or that one day he will manage to become a true master?”

Good news

The Argentinean golfer Robert de Vincenzo went to the parking lot to get his car after having won an important tournament.

At that moment, a woman approached him. After congratulating him for his victory, she told him her son was at the edge of death and that she had no money to pay the hospital bills.

De Vincenzo immediately gave her part of the money he had won that afternoon.

A week later, at a lunch at the Professional Golf Association, he told this story to a couple of friends. One of them asked him if the woman was blond with a small scar under her left eye.

De Vincenzo agreed. “You were cheated,” his friend said.

“This woman is a swindler and is always telling the same story to all foreign golfers that show up here.”

“So there is no child at the edge of death?”


“Well, this was the best news I got this week!” said the golf player.

Novo escritório em Barcelona


Download high resolution photo here.

Paulo Coelho, que este ano publicou um novo livro, “Adultério” – presente em todas as listas de mais vendidos em todos os paí­ses em que foi publicado – estará em Barcelona dia 12 de novembro para a inauguraí§í£o do novo escritório da agencia literária Sant Jordi Asociados.
A agencia é responsável por todos os direitos do autor desde que foi fundada, 20 anos atrás.

Diz Monica Antunes, sua representante exclusiva desde as primeiras traduí§íµes de O Alquimista – atualmente em 140 paí­ses em mais de 80 idiomas: ” as novas oportunidades acarretadas pelas transformaí§íµes profundas que o mercado literário está atravessando, tem nos permitido crescer bastante. ” Antunes se refere basicamente a edií§íµes digitais – a Sant Jordi Asociados agora publica em plataformas eletrí´nicas todos os livros do autor em portugues, frances, alemí£o, italiano, polones e espanhol.

Os novos escritórios da Sant Jordi Asociados tem o dobro de tamanho do escritório anterior, graí§as a constante expansí£o do trabalho de Paulo Coelho no mundo.

Para Coelho, “Barcelona é uma referíªncia para o mundo editorial, e sempre foi generosa comigo em com Mí´nica, quando ainda estavamos dando os primeiros passos”.
Carlos Revés, diretor da área editorial do Grupo Planeta, afirma que a presení§a de Mí´nica Antunes na cidade permite uma aproximaí§í£o especial com o autor e sua representante. “Estamos muito contentes que, durate a inauguraí§í£o, poderemos brindar o sucesso de Adultério no paí­s; desde que foi publicado, ní£o saiu da lista de mais vendidos”.

Para maiores informaí§íµes: + 34 93 224 0107

New offices in Barcelona

Para versí£o em portugues, clique aqui

Download high resolution photo here.

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, who earlier this year published his new novel, Adultery, (in Spain, Editorial Planeta), will be in Barcelona on November 12th for the inauguration of Sant Jordi Asociados’ new offices in the heart of the city.
The literary agency, that handles the writer’s work and rights worldwide from the Catalan capital, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this 2014.

According to Mí´nica Antunes, the author’s exclusive literary agent since the first translations of The Alchemist””currently translated into 80 languages and present over 140 countries -“the new opportunities and the transformation of the publishing market have allowed us to grow into other areas,” referring to the digital leap. In this sense, Antunes is “very confident to further expand its scope of action from the new office.”

The new headquarters of Sant Jordi Asociados is twice the size of the previous one, thanks to the growing presence of Paulo Coelho’s in the world.

For Coelho, who visits Barcelona regularly, being in the city is a great joy. “Barcelona has always been a reference in the publishing industry and very generous and affectionate towards my work,” concludes the Brazilian author.

Such good tuning is also due to the great relationship that both the writer and his agent have with their publishers. According to Carlos Revés, director of the Publishing Area of Planeta Group, Mí´nica Antunes’ presence in Barcelona has always proved to be “an advantage in our communication and closeness with Coelho, who is practically a local author for us”. “We are very pleased – adds Revés – that the author will be here to toast for the success of Adultery, which since its publication in Spain has not left the best-seller lists.”

For further information: +34 93 224 01 07

“Most people believe that their life happens to them”

“Most people believe that their life happens to them. That everything which occurs happens because of external circumstances that are independent of their will. Some people call this fate, others call it God’s will, and others choose to call it chance. But regardless of what they call it, they are giving away the responsibility for their lives; they relinquish control over their joys and their sorrows. They become an actor in someone else’s play.

“Every single event in your life is determined solely by you, by your unlimited creative capacity. You can manifest beauty and abundance, just as you can manifest cruelty and oppression. You can manifest joy, just as you can manifest suffering. It is up to you, and no one else. You are the director of the play of your life, and you are writing the script with every breath, every thought, every emotion. It is likely, however, that you are not fully aware of the story you are writing. And thus it is easier to believe that external forces come into play.”

“It is only when we become fully aware of the story that we can choose to write a different one.”

The Heart of the Labyrinth, by Nicole Schwab

The servant’s daugther

In ancient China a certain prince in the region of Thing-Zda was about to be crowned Emperor; before that, in accordance with the law, he had to get married.

Advised by a wise man, he decided to call all the young women in the region to choose the most suitable among them.

An old lady who had been a servant in the palace for many years heard the comments on the preparations for the audience and felt a deep sadness, for her daughter nurtured a secret love for the prince.
The daughter of a servant wins the heart of the prince with her honesty and dedication

The daughter of a servant wins the heart of the prince with her honesty and dedication

On reaching home and conveying the news, she was astonished to hear that her daughter also intended to present herself before the prince.

“My child, what are you going to do there? All the prettiest and richest young women in the court will be there. Get that silly idea out of your head! I know that you must be suffering, but don’t change your suffering into madness!”

“Dearest mother, I am not suffering and far less have I gone crazy; I know that I shall never be the chosen one, but it’s my chance to be at least for a few minutes close to the prince. That makes me happy, even knowing that my fate lies elsewhere.”

At night, when the young woman reached the palace, indeed all the prettiest young ladies were there, dressed in the prettiest clothes, displaying the most beautiful jewels, and willing to fight in every possible way for the opportunity that lay open to them.

Surrounded by his court, the prince announced the challenge: “I shall give each of you a seed. The one who brings me the prettiest flower in six months’ time will be the future Empress of China.

The young girl took her seed, planted it in a vase, and even though she did not know much about the art of gardening, took care of the earth with great patience and tenderness, for she thought that if the beauty of flowers was as deep as her love, then she did not need to worry about the result.

Three months passed by and nothing bloomed.

The young woman tried a bit of everything, spoke to farmers and peasants – who taught her all sorts of gardening techniques – but nothing worked, all her efforts came to nothing.

Finally, the six months came to an end and nothing had flourished in her vase.

Even knowing that she had nothing to show, she decided to return to the palace, realizing that this would be the last meeting with her beloved. The day arrived for the new audience.

The girl appeared with her vase without a plant, and saw that all the other pretenders had managed to produce fine results, each of them with a prettier flower than the next, all with a variety of shapes and colors.

At last came the moment everyone was waiting for: the prince entered and observed each of the pretenders with great care and attention.

After reviewing them all, he announced the result, pointing to his servant’s daughter as his chosen wife.

Everyone present began to complain, saying that he chose precisely the one candidate who had failed in the assigned task.

Then the prince very calmly clarified the reason for his choice: “She was the only one among you all to cultivate the flower that made her worthy to become an Empress: the flower of honesty.

“All the seeds that I distributed were sterile, and there was absolutely no way that they could flourish.”

A critica literaria e o leitor

A critica literária e o leitor

ZDF-Literatursendung “Das blaue Sofa” mit Paulo Coelho

A critica literária e o leitor

A recepí§í£o da obra de Paulo Coelho pela crí­tica


(NOTA: a versí£o acima ní£o é a definitiva. Assim que receber a tese já corrigida, substituiremos)