A Conversation With Paulo Coelho

A conversation with Paulo Coelho

A conversation with Paulo Coelho

As Lady Gaga says: Hello little monsters. — Paulo Coelho

James Joyce is such a boring writer. — Paulo Coelho

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. — 2 Peter 3:8

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho in live video conference.

I recently posted an interview Paulo Coelho did with DLT about making use of social media.

There are those who know how to make use of social media and those who do not. Paulo Coelho has taken it into a whole new dimension with a live video conference with over 600 participants. A few minutes in and it was at 678.

The previous day I listened to a dramatisation of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Much reappeared in the conversation with Paulo Coelho.

I was so busy posting on the net that Paulo Coelho was on live, that I was caught completely unawares when Paulo Coelho was talking to me.

What is your question Keith? I had no question. I commented on Christina’s painting in the background.

People were meant to post a question. I assume Paulo saw someone he knew.

I was busy with all the controls. Along the bottom tiny thumbnails of a sample of the people in the video conference. Some were who I knew.

What is the problem in failing? We all fail. Better to have failed than to have never tried. Failing is part of life. It is through failing we learn.

Aleph is an account of a journey in 2006 on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Advice on writing: Start writing. As Imogen Heap said in a recent webcast the artist’s best friend is procrastination. If you delay, you are not following your dreams.

Paulo Coelho started writing when he was 40. That was his dream. He had no idea if it would be a success.

Most important thing is to start. Second is to share. It is not just about writing, it is sharing your soul.

Economic crisis is paranoia, it is easy to spread panic. Fear is the most powerful tool to control our minds.

Nearly twenty years ago Paulo Coelho made the mistake of selling the film rights to The Alchemist. A book that has now sold over 65 million copies. Once you sell the rights, you lose control.

Thoughts on young people: Am I at 64 in a position to comment? There is a lack of values. Less adventurous. Lack of creativity.

A personal legend is a term from alchemy, your mission in life. Who am I? What am a doing here? God will help you follow the right path in life.

You may not be writing a biography, but your writing will be biographical, it will draw on your life experience.

We are surrounded by symbols.

Inspired by interacting with people on internet, reading, walking in the woods, archery.

Archery is a method of meditation.

Inspiration for writing Aleph: Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Aleph is a point in space and time.

Aleph not an easy book to write. How can you explain a moment that explains all moments?

Talking to Monica, she suggested writing about the experience on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Then one week later, saw how to explain Aleph. Explain in a way that others could understand.

Aleph No 1 in Brazil. An international best seller. A surprise!

Very proud to be published [in US] by Knopf.

The Alchemist was first contact with Islamic culture. Travelled from Tarifa in Spain from where you can see Africa.

Is modern literature going into decline like music?

Music is not dying. The major record labels are dying, who do not realise there has been a paradigm shift.

Earlier in the day I signed two young lads to a record label. I explained to them it was more important to be on twitter than be on a record label.

I gave three examples of people who know how to use social media: Paulo Coelho, Steve Lawson and Imogen Heap.

Writers are not making use of social media to communicate with their readers.

Who is going to read Ulysses by James Joyce?

Three weeks ago BBC Radio 4 dramatised Ulysses. A five and a half dramatisation to coincide with Bloomsday. There was discussions on Ulysses. Academics for who it was their subject matter admitted it was incomprehensible.

If the role of a writer is to communicate, how can James Joyce be considered a great writer? It is claimed he is influential. Influenced who?

Aleph is about reincarnation. A problem in the Catholic Church.

Put in a mental institution. Arrested by paramilitaries, tortured. Paranoid. Time heals. Don’t let the person who hurts you destroy you.

In writing a book, have an ending in mind, and a beginning, the question is how to get to one from the other. The Alchemist is taken from a short story in the Arabian Nights. Aleph is known as it is what happened on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Pilgrimage is also autobiographical.

The writer has to create what happens between the beginning and the end.

As a writer you are on a journey and it is the journey is what counts. A new book is a new journey.

A gardener takes care of the plants but depends on many things out of his control.

New book, Manuscrito encontrado em Accra, published in Brazil in one month, rest of the world end of this year and early next year.

Draw on all your senses including sixth sense. Intuition.

Mystery. There are things we cannot define, but we recognise when we see or experience, for example love. We cannot explain love, but we can experience love.

In Zen and the Art of Maintenance, Phaedrus cannot define quality, but we all recognise quality. Eventually it drives him insane.

Aleph is a point that contains every single point. You can experience, how can you explain?

Deja vu, synchronicity?

Time is a mystery, time is elastic.

When I am with my lovely friend Lena, time stands still. We were in a restaurant having a drink. The staff came to us at midnight, said goodnight, and left us a candle. I noticed it was very quiet. I asked Lena what time did she think it was? It was gone 2am in the early hours of the morning.

What books are you reading? Currently reading In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. Hitler’s ascent to power. No one saw or understood what was happening.

Peace is state of mind, We have to fight injustice. Read Bhagavad Gita

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