Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Author: Paulo Coelho

Your books usually are on similar subjects of alchemy, spirituality, witchcraft, magic, sexuality, still what is it that differentiates them?

When I start a new book, I try to approach myself from a different angle. In The Alchemist, for example, I was trying to explain to myself what writing meant to me. The way I found to do this was through a metaphor.

In Eleven Minutes, I started with the question of why sexuality is considered one of the major issues in life. But I had my doubts. And that’s why the hero asks if it’s true that the world could revolve around 11 minutes. I talked a lot about sexual relations in the novel, but in the end I doubt if the world really revolves around sex.

In The Zahir, on the other hand, there is a kind of a snapshot of my present moment as a famous writer. The novel is full of comments on what it means to be rich and famous, on the nature of marriage and the responsibilities of the writer.

In The Witch of Portobello I wanted to explore the feminine side of divinity, I wanted to plunge into the heart of the Great Mother.

In Brida, a book that I wrote in 1990, I plunge into the life of a woman that is trying to understand love and that has to go through many traditions, many paths of knowledge before finding her own.

All these stories, characters bare the seal of my personality, but each has its own path, its own identity.

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