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Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

Overview
Paulo Coelho (ˈpawlu koˈeʎu; born August 24, 1947) is a Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian lyricist and novelist.

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. He attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Upon telling his mother this, she responded with "My dear, your father is an engineer. He's a logical, reasonable man with a very clear vision of the world. Do you actually know what it means to be a writer?" After researching, Coelho concluded that a writer "always wears glasses and never combs his hair" and has a "duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation," amongst other things.
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Quotations

At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie.

p. 18

There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.... The soul of the world is nourished by people's happiness.

The Old King, p. 22

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

p. 22

"At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny."

"If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise," said the seer. "If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur."

p. 102

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.

p. 130

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

The Alchemist, p. 141

What happens once will never happen again. But what happens twice will surely happen a third time.

p. 156

Life attracts life.

"The Alchemist"

... And that dream, day by day, became less important. May be cause it wasn't really his dream.

Encyclopedia
Paulo Coelho (ˈpawlu koˈeʎu; born August 24, 1947) is a Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian lyricist and novelist.

Biography


Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. He attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Upon telling his mother this, she responded with "My dear, your father is an engineer. He's a logical, reasonable man with a very clear vision of the world. Do you actually know what it means to be a writer?" After researching, Coelho concluded that a writer "always wears glasses and never combs his hair" and has a "duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation," amongst other things. At 16, Coelho's introversion and opposition to following a traditional path led to his parents committing him to a mental institution
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. Coelho later remarked that "It wasn't that they wanted to hurt me, but they didn't know what to do... They did not do that to destroy me, they did that to save me."

At his parents' wishes, Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and becoming immersed in the drug culture of the 1960s. Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a songwriter, composing lyrics for Elis Regina
Elis Regina
Elis Regina Carvalho Costa, known simply as Elis Regina was an important singer of Brazilian popular music. She became nationally renowned in 1965, after singing Arrastão in the first edition of TV Excelsior festival song contest, and soon joined O Fino da Bossa, a television program on TV Record...

, Rita Lee
Rita Lee
Rita Lee Jones Carvalho , simply known as Rita Lee, is a Brazilian rock singer and composer. Lee continues to be a popular figure in Brazilian entertainment, where she is also known for being an animal rights activist and a vegetarian...

, and Brazilian icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 Raul Seixas
Raul Seixas
Raul Santos Seixas June 28, 1945 Salvador Northeast Brazil – August 21, 1989),was a Brazilian rock composer, singer, songwriter and producer.He is sometimes called the "Father of Brazilian Rock" and "Maluco Beleza"....

. Composing with Raul led to Paulo being associated with satanism and occultism, due to the content of some songs. In 1974, Coelho was arrested for "subversive" activities by the ruling military government, who had taken power ten years earlier and viewed his lyrics as left-wing and dangerous. Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist, and theatre director before pursuing his writing career.

In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela
Way of St. James
The Way of St. James or St. James' Way is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried....

 in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. On the path, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in The Pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage is a 1987 novel by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. It is a recollection of Paulo's experiences as he made his way across Northern Spain on the Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela in 1986.-Plot summary:...

. In an interview, Coelho stated "[In 1986], I was very happy in the things I was doing. I was doing something that gave me food and water – to use the metaphor in "The Alchemist
The Alchemist (novel)
The Alchemist is an allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho first published in 1988. The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese. It has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history....

", I was working, I had a person whom I loved, I had money, but I was not fulfilling my dream. My dream was, and still is, to be a writer." Coelho would leave his lucrative career as a songwriter and pursue writing full-time.

Writing career


In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves since he considered it “of bad quality." After making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Way of St. James
The Way of St. James or St. James' Way is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried....

 in 1986, Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage. The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist
The Alchemist (novel)
The Alchemist is an allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho first published in 1988. The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese. It has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history....

and published it through a small Brazilian publishing house who made an initial print run of 900 copies and decided not to reprint. He subsequently found a bigger publishing house, and with the publication of his next book Brida
Brida (novel)
Brida is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. It is the story of a beautiful young Irish girl and her quest for knowledge. On her journey she meets a wise man who teaches her to overcome fear and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the hidden music of the world. They see in her a gift, but...

, The Alchemist became a Brazilian bestseller. The Alchemist has gone on to sell more than 65 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history, and has been translated into more than 70 languages, the 71st being Maltese
Maltese people
The Maltese are an ethnic group indigenous to the Southern European nation of Malta, and identified with the Maltese language. Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...

, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author.

Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written one novel every two years including By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept is one of Paulo Coelho's most prominent titles. This is the first part in Coelho's trilogy "On the Seventh Day". The other two parts are Veronika Decides to Die and The Devil and Miss Prym...

, The Fifth Mountain
The Fifth Mountain
The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho was published in 1996 and was his fourth major publication.The story is based on the story of Elijah from the Hebrew Bible . The focus is on Elijah's time in Zarephath...

, Veronika Decides to Die
Veronika Decides to Die
Veronika Decides to Die is a novel by Paulo Coelho. It tells the story of 24-year-old Veronika, who appears to have everything in life going for her, but who decides to kill herself. This book is partly based on Coelho's experience in various mental institutions . It is based around the subject of...

, The Devil and Miss Prym
The Devil and Miss Prym
The Devil and Miss Prym is a novel by the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho.The book tries to find an answer to the question: "Are people bad?".-Plot summary:...

, Eleven Minutes
Eleven Minutes
Eleven Minutes is a 2003 novel by Paulo Coelho based on the experiences of a young Brazilian prostitute called Maria.-Plot introduction:...

, Like the Flowing River, The Valkyries and The Witch of Portobello
The Witch of Portobello
The Witch of Portobello is a fiction work by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho published in 2007, about a woman born in Transylvania to a Romani mother, who is orphaned and later adopted by a wealthy Lebanese couple.-Style:...

. This dates back to The Pilgrimage: While trying to overcome his procrastination of launching his writing career, Coelho said, "If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book." Coelho found a white feather in the window of a shop, and began writing that day.

In total, Coelho has published 30 books. Three of them – The Pilgrimage,The Valkyries and "Aleph" – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences. Others, like Maktub and The Manual of the Warrior of Light
The Manual of the Warrior of Light
The Manual of the Warrior of Light is a 1997 collection of Paulo Coelho's teachings summed up into one volume. It includes proverbs, extracts from the Tao Te Ching, the Bible, the book of Chuang Tzu, the Talmud and various other sources, and is written in the form of short philosophical...

, are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. In total, Coelho has sold more than 100 million books in over 150 countries worldwide, and his works have been translated into 71 languages. He is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 author.

Coelho is also writing at his own blog three times a week.

Adaptations


Several of Coelho's books have been adapted into other media.

In 1998, TV Manchete made a 52-episode miniseries based on Brida
Brida (novel)
Brida is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. It is the story of a beautiful young Irish girl and her quest for knowledge. On her journey she meets a wise man who teaches her to overcome fear and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the hidden music of the world. They see in her a gift, but...

. This adaptation was written by Jayme Camargo, Sônia Mota and Agélica Lopes, and directed by Walter Avancini. The Brazilian actress Carolina Kasting played Brida. It was the last novel filmed by TV Manchete. It was an audience failure and this adaptation was even reproved by Paulo Coelho himself. Due to the lack of sponsors, it had a premature ending: the last scenes were not recorded, being replaced by screenshots with narrations.

In 2004, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 bought the rights to the film adaptation of The Alchemist. The project stalled and never materialized. However, his book Veronika Decides to Die was made into a film
Veronika Decides to Die (film)
Veronika Decides to Die is a 2009 drama film directed by Emily Young and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jonathan Tucker, Melissa Leo, David Thewlis and Erika Christensen, adapted from the novel of the same name by Paulo Coelho....

 released in 2009.

In June 2007, Paulo Coelho announced The Experimental Witch Project, a collaborative project based on The Witch of Portobello.

In July 2011, Coelho ran Aleph, The Video Contest to collaborate and increase interaction with his more than 5,000,000 friends on Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

. The winner was Turkish
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 artist Raif Kurt.

File sharing


Paulo Coelho is a strong advocate of spreading his books through peer-to-peer file sharing
Peer-to-peer file sharing
P2P or Peer-to-peer file sharing allows users to download files such as music, movies, and games using a P2P software client that searches for other connected computers. The "peers" are computer systems connected to each other through internet. Thus, the only requirements for a computer to join...

 networks. A fan posted a Russian translation of one of his novels online. Sales of his book jumped from 3,000 to one million in three years, with no additional promotion or publicity from his publishers. Coelho took to pirating his own books on The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay is a Swedish website which hosts magnet links and .torrent files, which allow users to share electronic files, including multimedia, computer games and software via BitTorrent...

. Coelho provides free translations of many of his books. He was caught by the head of HarperCollins, Jane Friedman, who noticed that one of the unauthorized versions Coelho linked to had notes from his own manuscript. The two reached a compromise: each month a new novel can be read for free on the publisher's website. Due to the openness regarding his content, author Jeff Jarvis
Jeff Jarvis
Jeff Jarvis is an American journalist. Previously he was a television critic for TV Guide and People magazine, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner.-Career:Until recently Jarvis was...

 named Coelho 'the Googliest author' in his book What Would Google Do.

Personal life


Coelho and his wife Christina Oiticica
Christina Oiticica
Christina Oiticica is a Brazilian artist. She has been married to Paulo Coelho since 1980.Oiticica is known for using an exotic neoconcretist technique that reminds both the land art and the eco art - a technique that allows nature’s elements to act upon her works...

 split their time between Europe and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil. He is a Roman Catholic and he attends Mass regularly.

In 1996, Coelho founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides aid to children and elderly people with financial problems. In September 2007, Coelho was named a Messenger of Peace to the UN.
  • Member of the Board of the Shimon
    Shimon Peres
    GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

     Peres Center for Peace
    Peres Center for Peace
    The Peres Center for Peace located in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization founded in 1996 by Nobel Peace Laureate and current President of Israel Shimon Peres, with the aim of furthering his vision in which people of the Middle East...

  • Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (France)
  • UNESCO special counsellor for “Intercultural Dialogues and Spiritual Convergences”
  • Board Member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters
  • Member of INI International Advisory Council – HARVARD INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATION INITIATIVE
  • Member of the Board, Doha Center of Media Freedom


On May 9, 2006, in Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, Bulgaria, Paulo Coehlo was awarded by the President of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov
Georgi Parvanov
Georgi Sedefchov Parvanov is a President of Bulgaria, whose second and last mandate expires on January 22, 2012; he was elected after defeating his predecessor Petar Stoyanov in the second round of the presidential elections in November 2001 and he came into office on January 22, 2002...

 the "The Honorable Award of the President of the Republic".

External links