Archive for the ‘biography’ Category

Paulo Coelho – Ma vie

August 9, 2013

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho talks about his life. A German documentary.

Von den Kritikern oft verrissen, von seinen Lesern fast abgöttisch geliebt: Diese Dokumentation widmet sich einem der erfolgreichsten Autoren weltweit. Wo immer er auftaucht, wird Paulo Coelho von seinen Fans erkannt und angesprochen, denn er schafft es wie kaum ein anderer, die Sehnsüchte der Menschen auszudrücken und ihnen auf seine eigene Weise Zuversicht zu vermitteln.

“Ganz am Anfang des Lebens weiß man sehr genau, was man will und wenn man seinen Traum leben will, muss man die Brücken hinter sich einreißen.” Es sind Sätze wie dieser, die Menschen auf der ganzen Welt Mut machen und Paulo Coelho zu einem der beliebtesten Autoren der Gegenwart gemacht haben. Die Dokumentation zeichnet ein Porträt des charismatischen wie bescheidenen Schriftstellers in verschiedenen Situationen seines Lebens: als umjubelter Weltstar auf dem Roten Teppich bei den Filmfestspielen in Cannes, im Dialog mit seinen Fans und bei einer Signierstunde in einem Genfer Buchladen, die sich wegen großem Andrang über viele Stunden hinzieht. Er zeigt aber auch die nachdenklichen Seiten des Brasilianers, etwa in Santiago de Compostela, an dem Ort, wo er mit seiner Pilgerreise den Wendepunkt seiner Karriere erlebte. Dorthin kehrt er nach über 40 Jahren noch einmal zurück, um mit anderen Pilgern das Fest des heiligen Jakobs zu feiern. ARTE begleitet ihn bei einem seiner täglichen Spaziergänge mit seiner Frau, der Malerin Christina Oiticica, und beim Bogenschießen auf der Dachterrasse seiner Genfer Wohnung.

“Da gibt es diesen Moment, in dem Du absolut im Zentrum Deiner selbst bist. Du fühlst die Schönheit der Anspannung – und im nächsten Bruchteil einer Sekunde – die absolute Entspannung. In diesem Augenblick siehst Du die ganze Vollkommenheit des Universums vor Dir, Du verweilst einen Augenblick in diesem Zustand, hast keine Fragen, keine Antworten – in diesem Moment spürst Du die ganze Kraft des Lebens in Dir.”

Often panned by critics, almost madly loved by its readers: This document is dedicated to one of the world’s most successful authors. Wherever he goes, Paulo Coelho is recognized and addressed by his fans, because he manages more than any other to express the aspirations of the people and to give them confidence in their own way.

“At the very beginning of life, you know exactly what you want and when you want to live your dream, you have to tear down the bridges behind you.” There are sentences like this that make people all over the world courage and Paulo Coelho have made ​​it one of the most popular contemporary authors. The documentary paints a portrait of the charismatic and humble writer in various situations of his life, the celebrated world star on the red carpet at the film festival in Cannes, in dialogue with his fans and at a book signing in a Geneva bookshop, which is due to large crowds for many drags hours. It also shows the thoughtful side of the Brazilian about Santiago de Compostela, in the place where he experienced the turning point of his career, with his pilgrimage. There he returns after 40 years returned once again to celebrate with other pilgrims, the feast of St. Jacob. ARTE accompanied him on one of his daily walks with his wife, artist Christina Oiticica, and archery on the rooftop of his apartment Geneva.

“There’s this moment where you your are absolutely in the center itself you feel the beauty of tension -., And in the next fraction of a second – the ultimate relaxation at this moment you can see the whole perfection of the universe in front of you, you linger. a moment in this state have no questions, no answers – at that moment you feel the full force of life in you “

NeverSeconds in Lincoln

December 21, 2012
Waterstone's Lincoln former Corn Exchange

Waterstone’s Lincoln former Corn Exchange

WHSmith not a clue NeverSeconds, not on their system, not on the shelves.

Waterstone’s market not a clue NeverSeconds. Guy was helpful and did agree they should have more in, and on display. One on the shelf.

Waterstone’s High Street (sick joke staffed by people who LOVE books and love talking about books) not a clue NeverSeconds and girl got quite stroppy when it was pointed out had loads of publicity. One on the shelf.

What is wrong with these chains that masquerade as bookshops, that employ staff who seem to know nothing about books, that have on their hands what was a potential best seller for Christmas, a market they have now missed, a book that should have been on display, piled high?

The problem is, chain ‘bookshops’, only display what they are paid to display by the big publishers, not display based on merit.

NeverSeconds has now recorded over 8.9 million hits. Through NeverSeconds Martha went on to raise over £120,000 for a school kitchen in Malawi called Friends of NeverSeconds, and was invited to Malawi to inaugurate the kitchen. Now over £126,000 raised for Mary’s Meals.

With the help of her father David, Martha has co-written a book NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi.

Over Christmas, will see a re-broadcast of updated BBC documentary, Martha, Meals and Malawi.

The story of Martha Payne has inspired a woman to support a school in Malawi. A pity it has not inspired our useless bookshop chains to have NeverSeconds on prominent display in order that more would be inspired.

Lawrence of Arabia

December 8, 2012

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars. — Book of Proverbs

Brilliant documentary on T E Lawrence (1888-1935) by BBC Radio 4.

Lawrence pioneered modern guerrilla warfare when he drove the Turks out of the Middle East.

Unusual for a Westerner, Lawrence understood the Arab mind.

He was ultimately betrayed, as were the Arabs who thought they were fighting for independence.

The Middle East was carved up between the British and the French. Artificial borders were created

Lawrence drew up his own map.

We suffer the consequences today. Kurdistan would have been a state, as would Palestine. There would have been no Israel.

Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident when he swerved to avoid two boys in the road.

Yet another example of the unavailable crass stupidity of the BBC. They produce an excellent documentary, which will only be held on-line for seven days!

The Pilgrimage 25th Anniversary Edition

December 1, 2012
The Pilgrimage 25th Anniversary Edition

The Pilgrimage 25th Anniversary Edition

I was not aware there was a special 25th anniversary edition of The Pilgrimage (2012) with a special introduction by Paulo Coelho until I spotted one on display in Waterstone’s in Farnham today on a cold winter afternoon.

Most people think The Alchemist was the first book written by Paulo Coelho. It wasn’t, the first was The Pilgrimage.

It was walking El Camino de Santiago that inspired Paulo Coelho to write The Alchemist.

Many of his early books have their origins somewhere along El Camino de Santiago.

When he walked El Camino de Santiago, it had fallen into disuse, maybe 400 pilgrims a year. Since publication of the Pilgrimage, the numbers have risen exponentially, with peaks in Holy Years, such that by 2005 there were 400 a day passing a bar on the halfway point.

El Camino de Santiago is medieval pilgrim’s route that runs along northern Spain. The destination is Santiago de Compostela where lies the remains of Apostle James the Greater, St James.

NeverSeconds found in a bookshop!

November 27, 2012
 Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Wonders will never cease, after a long search, NeverSeconds found in a bookshop. Yes, hard to believe, NeverSeconds found in a bookshop!

Last Saturday, Waterstone’s and WHSmith in Farnham. Not a clue, did not have, Waterstone’s one on order, WHSmith unable to find on system.

On Monday, WHSmith in Aldershot. Not a clue, unable to find on system.

WHSmith Godalming: No NeverSeconds, cannot find on their system. Tried on another system, found 500 in a warehouse, but that works out at less than one copy per shop.

It is worth holding off purchase of NeverSeconds or any book until 2 December. Currently WHSmith have vouchers which give 20% off any book, even books on special offer, from 2 December. This would make NeverSeconds cheaper than buying off Amazon. And remember Amazon are tax dodgers.

Waterstone’s Godalming: Is NeverSeconds by Paulo Coelho? None in stock, did have one, we sold it. One on order. I suggested they may care to order more, put on display. Helpful guy checked system, lots in Scotland, one in Guildford.

Waterstone’s Guildford: Yes, we have NeverSeconds, it is in Biography. I spotted it before the girl did. But only one.

Miracles will never cease, Waterstone’s Guildford has one copy in stock of NeverSeconds!

As I had time to spare, I sat down to flip through and read little snippets. A interesting format. Extracts from Martha’s food blog NeverSeconds coupled with Dave giving the background.

As only one, I did not buy, left for someone else to buy, but what I did do was put on the shelf on display with the cover showing.

I suggested they got more in and put on display.

On display Aleph. Only one year after publication, but I guess better late than never.

NeverSeconds, the story of Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds, as told by Martha and her father David Payne, is currenty selling 300 copies a day, published two weeks ago, is already on its second print run.

Every copy of NeverSeconds which is sold provides 25 school dinners for children in Malawi through a donation to Mary’s Meals.

Aleph now out in paperback!

March 30, 2012
Aleph and The Alchemist joint No 7 (in non fiction chart)

Aleph and The Alchemist joint No 7 (in non fiction chart)

Wonderful display of Paulo Coelho books in window of Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Wonderful display of Paulo Coelho books in window of Libreria Palazzo Roberti

HarperCollins have produced a rather tacky video to promote that Aleph is now available in paperback.

This appalling New-Age-light video from HarperCollins merely serves to reinforce the worse prejudices from critics that Paulo Coelho is a pedlar of psycho-babble and pseudo-crap.

In many ways it is much worse than the critics. At least with the vicious personal attacks by critics masquerading as book reviews, the intelligent reader can see there is something wrong, wrong that is with the critic not the books or author.

Had I never read Paulo Coelho, this awful video would have put me off Paulo Coelho for life, or at the very least it would have taken a lot of persuading for me to have picked up and read one of his books.

I learnt Aleph was out in paperback on passing through an airport and finding it on display on a book stand. It was joint No 7 with The Alchemist. Odd though, I thought, in the non-fiction chart.

The Alchemist has a new cover. This I discovered on meeting and chatting with a man who like me was in transit between terminal buildings and waiting for the shuttle. Strangers passing by in brief encounters.

Reading the signs

Was Aleph on display in Waterstone’s?

Friday of last week, I checked Waterstone’s in Guildford. No, Aleph was not on display. It was not on display in the window, not on display in-store. At least it was on display on the shelves after I passed through.

Same story, Waterstone’s in Lincoln, Tuesday of this week. No Aleph on display.

What is wrong with Waterstone’s?

Last year when Aleph came out in hardback, it was not on display in Waterstone’s

Paulo Coelho in Waterstone’s and the author the publisher forgot

If nothing else an opportunity for independent bookshops. But will they grasp the opportunity? On past track record, the sad reality is no, which is one reason they are all going out of business.

What’s gone wrong with our bookshops?

Last year Aleph was released across Europe. It shot straight to No 1 in all countries apart from UK.

Waterstone’s is a very depressing place to visit. A marked contrast to the four bookshops I found happily coexisting in Bassano del Grappa.

Bookshops in Bassano del Grappa

One, Libreria Palazzo Roberti, located in a former palace that was once owned by the Comte Roberti where Napoleon slept the night, was a delight to visit. As one wandered around one could see the love of books. Wonderful enticing book displays.

I mentioned Paulo Coelho was in Bassano del Grappa. When I passed by a couple of days later, Libreria Plazzo Roberti had a wonderful display of Paulo Coelho books in one of their windows. Somehow I cannot imagine that happening with Waterstone’s.

Guildford has an annual book festival which takes place mid-October. Pass by Waterstone’s and you would not know, as no mention of the Guildford Book Festival. Sour grapes because they are not the official festival bookseller.

But please do not let the tacky HarperCollins video put you off reading Aleph. It is excellent and highly recommended.

Aleph is available in paperback the UK now, in the US in June.

Paulo Coelho on Desert Island Discs

January 29, 2012
Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho on the fabled island talking about his life and choosing eight discs to take with him.

Do not skip to the records, listen to the programme and then each one is heard in context.

Sue Lawley has done her homework!

This is one of the best Desert Island Discs programmes I have heard. Paulo Coelho comes across as totally unpretentious.

To be invited on to Desert Island Discs is a great honour. Far more prestigious than winning an Oscar.

You are allowed to take to your desert island eight gramophone records as they were when the programme started for your wind-up gramophone, one luxury and one book. You are provided with the Bible and the Collected Works of Shakespeare.

The records chosen are placed within the context of your life, which is what makes the programme interesting and has given it its everlasting appeal.

Desert Island Discs celebrates seventy years this year! Nearly 3,000 castaways on the desert island and yet only four presenters during the entire history off the programme.

Castaway: 70 Years of Desert Island Discs
The Journey of Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho talks to Big Issue
Desmond Tutu and Paulo Coelho at Davos

Paulo Coelho on writing IV

January 23, 2012

Paulo Coelho talking about writing using Aleph as an example.

We have a book, in our soul, in our head, how do we get it into a book that we can share with others to read?

Writing a book is hard work, it requires dsicipline, but once we start, we find it easy.

The book is then published. It is a free agent.

Will readers like it, will bookshops stock it, will reviewers use the platform of a review to launch a vicious personal attack on the author?

Last year, Aleph shot to No1 in all countries of publication within days of release. The one noticeable exception was the UK where Waterstone’s bookshop chain for whatever perverse reason refused to put Aleph on display and so the passing reader was not aware of its existence.

Top Story Ask the English Teacher Daily (Monday 23 January 2011).

Paulo Coelho on writing I
Paulo Coelho on writing III

The Journey of Paulo Coelho

January 21, 2012
The Journey of Paulo Coelho

The Journey of Paulo Coelho

This amazing infographic of the life of Paulo Coelho is well worth printing off and sticking on the wall as a poster.

Click through the image, select large image in twitpic.

Har Paulo Coelho blitt en pervers gammel gris?

January 19, 2012

Reading the worst book review I ever saw about Paulo Coelho I have a message for Cathrine Krøger; You need to get laid lady! — Marit Runyon

A book review or a bitter old Ku `s reactions’? — comments

The headline in the cultural section of Norwegian paper Dagbladet, which readers of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo knows belongs in the gutter, and this gutter peice well and truly belongs in the gutter. I would not use it to wrap my Norwegian salmon for fear it would contaminate the fish even more than the Norwegian fish farms.

Roughly translated it calls Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho a perverted old pig. What masquerades as a review of Aleph is in reality a character attack by hack, I would not insult journalists by calling her a journalist, Cathrine Krøger, wallowing in the gutter.

ANMELDELSE: «Vi er alle frelst og fri til å fortsette vandringen som verken har begynnelse eller slutt.» Det er det noe diffuse budskapet i Coelhos selvbiografiske «Alef.» Her overgår han om mulig seg selv.

Det er få, om noen, som til de grader har klart å tyne sitt forfatterskap som Paulo Coelho.

«Alkymisten»(1988) er den mest oversatte boka av noen nålevende forfatter, og hans bøker har til sammen solgt i over 100 millioner eksemplarer. Det å hisse seg opp over at bøkene – spesielt etter «Alkymisten» – stort sett er åndelig visvas, er like idiotisk som å hisse seg opp over salgstallene til Se og Hør.

Åndelig orgasme
Det er tvert imot imponerende hva Coelho klarer å selge. Plottet i «Alef» er som følger (jeg tuller ikke): Coelho er inne i en åndelig krise, og legger ut på en reise med den transsibirske jernbanen. Unge vakre Hilal følger etter. Hun er en genial fiolinistinne som ble seksuelt misbrukt som liten.

De har et sterkt møte femhundre år tilbake i tid. Da var Coelho dominikanermunk og Hilal en ung kvinne anklaget for kjetteri. Coelho var for feig til å forsvare henne. Nå vil han frigjøre henne, men ikke gjennom banal seksualitet (som Hilal higer etter).

Nakne i den smale togsengen foretar den aldrende, kloke mannen og den unge, søkende piken en smertefull åndelig reise gjennom både tid og rom — til de når klimaks.

Eldre menn og unge kvinner

Like imponerende inntil det skremmende er Coelhos selvbilde. Det eneste Russland vi møter i boka, er Coelhos fans som vil hylle ham. Om han ser ut av vinduet, er det ikke det russiske landskap, men «verden og verdens hemmelige steder, lyrikken som er tapt i tid, og glemte ord i verdensrommet.» Alternativt ser han innover i seg selv og de uendelige mysteriene han rommer (hinsides ord.)

I likhet med «Alef», har Coelhos siste utgivelsene handlet om eldre menn (til forveksling lik Coelho), som møter unge kvinner som higer etter ham seksuelt. Den gamle mannen holder klokelig tilbake.

Åndelig budskap?

Men Coelho er ikke åndeligere enn at han eksempelvis reflekterer over barberte kjønnshår, da han i sitt tidligere liv som dominikanermunk ser de unge nakne pikene fortæres av flammene.

Spørsmålet er om Coelho fremdeles har et slags forkvaklet åndelig budskap, eller om han nå bare har blitt en pervers gammal gris. Etter å ha lest «Alef» holder jeg en knapp på det siste.

Which roughly translated by Google:

REVIEW: “We are all saved and free to continue the journey that has neither beginning nor end.” There is nothing vague message of Coelho’s autobiographical “Alef.” Here he surpasses, if possible themselves.

There are few, if any, to such a degree has managed to squeeze his writing as Paulo Coelho.

“The Alchemist” (1988) is the most translated book by a living author and his books have together sold over 100 million copies. To get excited about the books – especially after “The Alchemist” – largely spiritual nonsense, is just as idiotic as to stir up the sales figures to See and Hear.

Spiritual Orgasm
On the contrary, imposing what Coelho can sell. The plot of “Alef” is as follows (I’m not kidding): Coelho is in a spiritual crisis, and embarks on a journey with the Trans-Siberian railway. Young beautiful Hilal follows. She is a brilliant violinist ever was sexually abused as a child.

They have a strong meet five centuries ago. It was Coelho Dominicans monks and Hilal, a young woman accused of heresy. Coelho was too cowardly to defend her. Now he will release her, but not through the banal sexuality (as Hilal crave).

Naked in the narrow togsengen make the aging, wise man and the young, inquisitive girl, a painful spiritual journey through time and space – until they reach climax.

Older men and young women

Equally impressive until it is frightening Coelho’s self-image. The only thing Russia we meet in the book, Coelho fans who will worship him. If he looks out the window, it is not the Russian countryside, but “the world and the world’s secret places, poetry that is lost in time, and forgot the words in space.” Alternatively, he looks into the self and the infinite mysteries he holds ( beyond words.)

Like the “Alef”, has Coelho latest releases about older men (confusingly similar Coelho), which meets the young women who yearn for him sexually. The old man keeps wisely back.

Spiritual message?

But Coelho is not the spirit more than his example, reflects on the shaved pubic hair, as in his previous life as Dominicans monk sees the young naked girls consumed by the flames.

The question is whether Coelho still has a kind of warped spiritual message, or whether he just has a perverted old bastard. After reading the “Alef” I keep a button on the past.

The Google translation is not brilliant but you get the gist.

It begs the question, did this frustrated hag actually read Aleph or simply skim, as she clearly did not understand what she read.

She starts of saying Aleph is autobiographical, then later tells us the main character ‘confusingly similar Coelho’. Hmm, does our hack not know the meaning of autobiographical, or is her attention span that of a gnat and she loses the plot of her own garbage?

This odious woman has abused her platform of writing a review of Aleph to launch a vicious personal attack on Paulo Coelho. It is clear she has not read Aleph, of if she did, did not comprehend as she clearly did not understand what she has read as she singularly fails to grasp what Aleph was about.

Aleph is not a travel guide to Siberia (she complains no Russians in it), it is a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway. And yet Paulo Coelho does meet Russians en-route, he writes of many Russians he meets en-route. For example the Russian readers he dined with and the Russian gangsters, to name but one group. In her skimming, I can only assume she missed those bits.

She seems obsessed Paulo Coelho with a younger woman. Jealousy writ large?

The Iranians have recently been attacking Paulo Coelho as part of their anti-Western hysteria, but their attacks are mild in comparison. They have along way to go before they achieve this level of vitriol.

Had Cathrine Krøger bothered to read Aleph, as clearly she has not (or if she has is incapable of comprehending what she read), Paulo Coelho did not have a sexual relationship with Hilal, it was a friendship and conversation.

This so-called review is an insult to the readers of Dagbladet. Do they not deserve better?

And just in case all Norwegian journalists get tarred with the same brush, Rune Thomas Ege did excellent reporting from Oslo during the aftermath of the Utoya massacre. But then he writes for Verdens Gang newspaper, he was one of the first journalists on the scene at Utoya.

Paulo Coelho on writing I
Rune Thomas Ege reporting from Oslo
Publication in Iran of I Hate Paulo Coelho
Coelho’s thought rhyming with false mysticism
Har Paulo Coelho blitt en pervers gammel gris?

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