Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

The Illustrated Man

June 18, 2014
The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man (1951), a collection of eighteen short stories by Ray Bradbury.

A vagrant rolls into town, his tattoos come to life at night, and show a very dark future.

Dramatised by BBC Radio 4, part of their Dangerous Visions series.

As usual, only kept on-line for seven days, now less than three days left.

The Illustrated Man

Não Pare Na Pista

April 26, 2014

A cinebiografia conta a história do autor brasileiro mais lido no mundo.”Não Pare Na Pista – A melhor história de Paulo Coelho” é um filme de ficção baseado em depoimentos de Paulo Coelho.

A film documenting the life of Paulo Coelho.

Paradiso

April 19, 2014
Dante and Beatrice speak to Piccarda and Constance

Dante and Beatrice speak to Piccarda and Constance

Dante and Beatrice speak to the teachers of wisdom

Dante and Beatrice speak to the teachers of wisdom

Led by Virgil through Inferno and Purgatorio. Virgil was born before Christ and can go no further. Dante is led through Paradiso by the beautiful Lady Beatrice.

Souls who made Holy Vows but failed to keep them.

Souls who sought Glory, but forgot the end does not justify the means.

Souls who enjoyed the sexual pleasures, but also remembered spiritual love.

Can we question the Will of God? If not, then we lack Free Will.

Finally, Dante is led into the presence of God, but before, he is questioned by Peter, James and John.

A very beautiful and moving dramatisation by the BBC of Paradiso, the third part of The Divine Comedy. All the more the pity only on-line for seven days.

The Supreme Gift

February 6, 2014
The Supreme Gift

The Supreme Gift

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” — Luke 7:44-47, New International Version (NIV)

THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not LOVE I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing. — Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

The Supreme Gift, a rewrite by Paulo Coelho of The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond, a book that was to greatly influence the life of Paulo Coelho.

The Supreme Gift, is currently only available as an e-book, only available on Amazon and iTunes (it may become available on Kobo).

But why restrict to Amazon and ITunes (and maybe Kobo), when there are distinct advantages to author and reader to release on leanpub?

Writers get a far better deal on leanpub, as do readers.

Leanpub pays 90% royalty to authors, less a 50 cent flat fee.

For the reader, multiple download formats, open source formats, not propriety formats.

Amazon is a propriety format, restricted to an Amazon Kindle. iTunes I do not know.

Kindle spies on what the reader is reading, Amazon can and do arbitrarily delete contents of a Kindle.

Kobo readers are better than Kindle. Open source format for e-books.

Kobo Touch is currently in WHSmith in UK at £30 (approx 45 euros), it was £90. The equivalent six inch e-reader from Amazon, Kindle Touch, is double the price.

For those who do not have an e-reader, download and install Calibre.

Calibre can also be used to manage books on an e-reader.

A few ball park figures (for writer can substitute publisher):

The Supreme Gift on Amazon — $3

Assuming writer gets 40% — $1-20

The Supreme Gift on leanpub — $2

The writers receives 90% less 50 cents — $1-30

Thus reader and writer get a better deal on leanpub.

But let us go a step further, a book about a gift, let us incorporate the principles of the Gift Economy that Charles Eisenstein describes in Sacred Economics.

Charles Eisenstein, in keeping with his idea of a Gift Economy, gift to others with no expectation of return, you can purchase Sacred Economics from a bookshop (if you can find), download as an e-book (pay what you wish), or download for free.

Leanpub lets us do something clever. We can set a low minimum price, say $1, a suggested selling price of say $2. A slider lets us pay what we choose, we can pay more than the suggested price, and we see how much of the price we choose to pay, goes to the author.

If we choose less than the suggested price, the author has granted us a gift. It is then for us to decide what we do with our gift. We may, for example, tell others, we have then passed the gift on, if they choose to download and pay, then we have also repaid the author.

It is what bass player Steve Lawson calls a zero cost transaction. No one has actually lost anything, you do not know where it may lead.

Bandcamp in part, operates in this way. You can listen as often as you wish, you are encouraged to share, sometimes download for free or pay a low minimum price, pay what you wish. And surprisingly it works, people are willing to pay, and if they share, more people discover the music. A complete contrast to the greedy Big Record Labels, who rip off everyone and criminalise those who dare to share.

Steph Bradley spent six moons walking around the country, sharing and collecting tales of what is possible, what people are trying, and collecting together in Tales of Our Times. She was inspired by Paulo Coelho to follow her dreams. On St Valentine’s Day, she will publish on leanpub, Searching for Love, an anthology of love poetry.

The Greatest Thing in the World (1874), a meditation Henry Drummond wrote in 1874 that illuminates the importance of 1 Corinthians 13. Widely read and quoted during his lifetime, it went on to sell over 12 million copies and it continues today to influence people to follow God’s two great commandments: to love God and to love each other.

Paulo Coelho: ‘I had an enormous amount of fun being a hippy’

January 26, 2014

Paulo Coelho on life, the universe, everything.

It took me years to realise that writing was what I needed to do full time. --  Paulo Coelho

It took me years to realise that writing was what I needed to do full time. — Paulo Coelho

Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions. I discovered very early in life that the best way for me to communicate is through my writing, but it took me years to realise that it’s what I needed to do full time.

I remember the moments after I was born. Someone entered the room, and I said to myself: “This is my grandmother.” Nobody believes me. I’ve asked doctors if it’s possible – the answer is always no, but I know what I saw that day.

Writing is a solitary experience. I’m extremely superstitious. If I talk about the book or name the title out loud before finishing, I feel the energy I need to write will be drained. It’s so intimate I can’t even share it with my wife.

My connection with Brazil is so abstract. My blood and my way of thinking is Brazilian, but that’s it. I don’t tend to go back to the past and, although I have an apartment there, I rarely visit. When I move, I really move.

I’ve made a lot of money. It’s nice to be able to wear a very good coat in the Geneva winter [where Coelho now lives], but I feel I’ve always been rich. I could afford my greatest pleasures even when I wasn’t wealthy. Travel, archery, writing and reading don’t cost a lot.

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfil our destiny, but our fate is sealed.

A lot of people feel intimidated by me. There are usually two ways they deal with my fame: they either become very shy and I have to do all the talking, which bores me, or they start name dropping and boasting about how much money they have.

I don’t miss being a hippy. I had an enormous amount of fun and I travelled the world on a shoestring. But I couldn’t stay in that state forever, totally stoned, wandering across the planet.

Humans are not monogamous by nature. For the sake of the preservation of our species, we are not meant to be. But I do believe in marriage. I’ve been married for 34 years. Love is the most important thing in my life.

In anger, I react like an animal. My temper is Latin. If I’m in a bad mood, you’ll know about it. I’d be a terrible politician as I always say what I think.

A lot of people want to be vampires. Fighting against the ageing process is futile. I’m thrilled that I haven’t died young and that I’m getting older without bitterness. It’s a joy.

I have a lot of free time. There is this idea that when you’re a successful writer you’re always so busy, but I’m not. I spend a lot of time walking around and having coffee with strangers.

I visit obscure book shops just to check that my work is still stocked.

Published in The Observer.

The Alchemist, has today marked two hundred and eighty-seven weeks in New York Times best-seller list. Not bad for a book first published twenty six years ago.

Manuscript found in Accra, the latest from Paulo Coelho, set in Jerusalem on the eve of the attack by the Crusaders, is currently on special offer in WHSmith.

The Alchemist: two hundred and eighty-seven weeks in New York Times best-seller list

January 26, 2014
The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-seven weeks New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-seven weeks New York Times best-seller list

Today, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has notched up two hundred and eighty-seven consecutive weeks in the New York Times best-seller list.

Not bad for a book that was first published twenty six years ago.

Paulo Coelho: El Camino de Santiago

January 14, 2014

Paulo Coelho discussing walking El Camino de Santiago.

His experience of walking The Way he recorded in The Pilgrimage and it led to the writing of The Alchemist.

Follow your dreams, unfortunately most don’t, they don’t take the risk, then they bemoan the good luck of others, even worse, they do their best to stop others from following their dreams.

The Alchemist: two hundred and eighty-five weeks in New York Times best-seller list

January 12, 2014
The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-five weeks New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-five weeks New York Times best-seller list

Today, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has notched up two hundred and eighty-five consecutive weeks in the New York Times best-seller list.

A marvellous start for the New Year for a book that was first published twenty-six years ago.

The Alchemist: two hundred and eighty-four weeks in New York Times best-seller list

January 5, 2014
The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-four weeks New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-four weeks New York Times best-seller list

Today, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has notched up two hundred and eighty-four consecutive weeks in the New York Times best-seller list.

Last week No 6, this week remaining at No 6.

A marvellous start for the year for a book that was first published twenty-six years ago.

The Alchemist: two hundred and eighty-three weeks in New York Times best-seller list

December 29, 2013
The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-three weeks New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist two hundred and eighty-three weeks New York Times best-seller list

Today, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has notched up two hundred and eighty-three consecutive weeks in the New York Times best-seller list.

Last week No 8, this week has crept up to No 6.

A marvellous year ending for a book that was first published twenty-five years ago.