Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A few things about the incredible Paulo Coelho

In August 1947 a star was born in Rio de Janeiro. In his early age, Paulo Coelho attended a Jesuit school and then decided to be a writer; however his idea was extremely disliked by his parents. Coelho observed the professional writers and did what they do - opposed the traditional path. He ended up in a mental institution, because his parents thought he was insane. He broke away from the hospital three times knowing that his problems are not serious at all. Now when he looks back at those times he does not blame his parents at all, he respects them and knows that they only wanted the best for him and wanted to help him. Fulfilling his parents’ wishes Coelho studied law for one year and abandoned his big dream. After that year he decided that this is not the way he wants to spend his youth and became a hippie and travelled South America, Mexico, North America and Europe and he started to use drugs. When he returned to Brazil he worked as a songwriter, journalist, actor, and theatre director, but his life still didn’t get very easy – he got arrested for subversive activities – the government found his lyrics left-winged and satanic. After being released again Coelho went to the pilgrimage route, Santiago de Compostela. Despite being happy, Coelho still didn’t fulfill his biggest dream – being a writer and so he went back to Brazil and pursued writing full-time. The first book he wrote, Hell Archives, was not successful at all, but he didn’t give up and kept writing. His fourth book, The Alchemist, became one of the world’s bestsellers with almost 70 million copies sold. The Alchemist also holds a Guinness World Record for being the most translated book – 71 languages – from a living author. He wrote many more books such as my favorite Veronica Decides to Die or Devil and Ms. Prym. Coelho is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author, nevertheless he doesn’t only concentrate on his fame and popularity, but he is helping the ones who need it. In 1996 he had established the Paulo Coelho Institute, which takes care of and helps children and elderly people with financial prolems. He is still alive and keeps writing and hopefully will share some more great stories with us. I love him and admire him for who he is and for the way is able to explain the unexplainable feelings inside our souls. 

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