switching on the codes

To all with mental health problems, just think – they may not always be problems. — Stuart Olds

Where do our thoughts come from?

Last weekend I was in Alton for the Alton Food Festival. I came across a copy of Veronika Decides to Die. I almost bought it, I had it in my hand, but I put it back, a decision I was to regret later.

I wandered around the market which was something of a disappointment, looked in St Lawrence Church, then bumped into Stuart Olds who was doing a book signing.

We had a long chat about many things, but in particular Gaia and the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. I especially mentioned The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die.

I told him about Paulo Coelho being locked away in a mental hospital and told him this was the subject matter of Veronika Decides to Die. He looked at me as though I had looked into his soul.

What I did not know was that he had gone through something similar. He talks about this in Hope’s Truth, of which I have a signed copy. This came to him in a manic period, as though downloaded into his brain, though what he describes is not manic depression or bi-polar, it is schizophrenia.

At a press conference in Istanbul, Paulo Coelho responded to a quote from Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk on mental health and writers. I think it was Orhan Pamuk saying he would go mad if he did not write and Paulo Coelho responding it was because he was mad that he did write. But not sure, maybe it was the other way around.

The Girl on the Landing
The meaning of life? The joy of meeting my many, many readers, says Paulo Coelho

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One Response to “switching on the codes”

  1. Dances With Crayons Says:

    With Love,

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