Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by the reader :Futoshi

Author: Paulo Coelho

In your work “The Witch of Portobello”, Athena’s portrait is predicated from the words of the many witnesses. Why did you intended to use this technique?

First this structure was for me a challenge, something that aroused my imagination. While I was writing the book, the main character Athena started to unfold in such an unexpected way thanks to this structure. It was as if I was chasing after her: I had no idea how her story would end but got really excited by the opportunities that aroused from the different perspectives.

At one point in my book, the character of Nabeel Al Ehi teaches Athena the following:

“even a simple letter demands that we put all power into it that we have, as if we were to carve its meaning in hard stone. Thus, when holy scripts find their place on paper, they also include the person’s soul. Because the hand leading the line reflects the soul of the writer.”

In this excerpt, he voices my view on writing. I regard writing as a spiritual activity. It’s the moment, when, in silence, I’m able to talk to myself, to connect to my soul. But you can apply that to any act performed with commitment, humility and love.

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