A Novelist Par Excellence'
"Paulo Coelho is not only one of the most widely read, but also one the most influential authors writing today," "His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people" To date a sum of 280 translations in 58 languages have been published with sales totalling almost 56 million copies in 150 countries. For 15 years, Paulo Coelho's different titles have made the top places on the bestseller lists around the world. According to Reuters Paulo Coelho ranks among the world's three most successful writers. Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947; is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he attended law school, but in 1970 abandoned his studies to travel throughout Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, as well as Europe and North Africa. Two years later he returned to Brazil and began composing popular music lyrics, working with such popular musicians as Raul Seixas. As he confesses in an interview to Juan Arias, during that time he was introduced to the work of controversial English mystic Aleister Crowley, which influenced their collaboration. The influence extended not only to music, but also to plans for the creation of the "Alternative Society," which was to be an anarchist community in the state of Minas Gerais based on Crowley's premise: "'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the Law." The project was considered subversive by members of the Brazilian military, which imprisoned all prospective members of the group. Seixas and Coelho are reported to have been tortured during their imprisonment. Paulo Coelho has led an extreme life. Rebelliousness defined his youth. He was a hippie. He wrote popular song lyrics for some of Brazil's famous pop music stars, including Elis Regina and Raul Seixas. Shortly after, he worked as a journalist. Paulo Coelho's first novel The Pilgrimage was written originally in Portuguese. Before The Pilgrimage he wrote four books, first two books in 1954 and next two in 1982 which failed to make any kind of impact and further they were not published anymore; even he took all the published copies off the shelves considering their bad quality. It was only with the publication of an autobiographical book The Pilgrimage in 1987 that Coelho got true recognition as a writer. Actually it is his second book The Alchemist that brought him international recognition. The Alchemist published in 1988, originally written in Portuguese language, was translated into English. This novel created a sensation and established a record of sales. The Pilgrimage is an autobiographical novel, a recollection of Paulo Coelho's most important experience: the adventure of traveling toward the unknown. In 1986, he made his way across Northern Spain on the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela; also known as Jacobean route on which pilgrims have travelled since Middle Ages. In this contemporary quest, Petrus accompanied him as a mentor and taught him RAM practices and some rituals. During the journey, they faced many impedes which made their journey not only difficult but exciting. Along the strange Road of the common people, he learns the RAM practices, converses with his messenger about practical matters, passes through the water falls, wins over enemies, sees the face of his death and the blue sphere of the love that consumes and flooded in entire world. Coming across all the experience, he understands true meaning of love, truth, faith, simplicity and wisdom that transformed him. There are only two main characters in the novel Paulo and his Mentor. It is Paulo's sincere self portrait.While giving the picture of his journey and activities, he truthfully portrays his inner self, his progress from known to unknown, from ignorance to wisdom. Petrus though is not experienced as a teacher, knows many victories and defeats and has all those qualities which are must in a...
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