Book: Coelho Paulo «El Zahir»

El Zahir

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La b&# 250;squeda de un hombre que intenta recuperar un amor perdido. Un reconocido escritor de fama mundial descubre un d&# 237;a que su mujer, corresponsal de guerra, ha desaparecido sin dejar rastro.&# 191;Ha sido secuestrada, v&# 237;ctima de un atentado o simplemente se sent&# 237;a insatisfecha con su matrimonio? El narrador se propone encontrar las respuestas a todas las preguntas que se le han planteado y, abandonando la seguridad de su mundo de privilegios, inicia el camino hacia un destino desconocido. De Francia a Espa&# 241;a, de Croacia a las hermosas llanuras del Asia central, El Zahir es la historia de una b&# 250;squeda, un intento por alcanzar ese punto, tal vez inexistente, en el que se unen dos v&# 237;as paralelas: en la b&# 250;squeda del amor perdido, el narrador descubre algo inesperado de s&# 237; mismo.

Издательство: "Booket" (2014)

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Coelho, Paulo

▪ 1997

      In 1995 the mystical author Paulo Coelho, one of Brazil's most successful novelists and probably its best-selling writer abroad, expanded his international popularity by penetrating the U.S. market, and sales of his lyrical fiction showed no signs of waning in 1996. Early in the year By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, the English translation of his 1994 novel Na margem do rio Piedra eu sentei e chorei (film rights to which had been secured by the French actress Isabel Adjani), was published in the United States in an initial press run of 50,000 copies. Coelho's U.S. publisher doubtless hoped that the book would approach the popularity of The Alchemist (the English translation of his best-known book, O alquimista), which by the end of 1995 had sold some 280,000 trade paperback copies in the United States. By 1996 four of Coelho's six books had been translated into at least 26 languages and had sold more than 7.5 million copies, with more than one million copies sold in France alone.

      Coelho was born in August 1947 in Rio de Janeiro. He dropped out of law school in 1970 and traveled through South America, Mexico, North Africa, and Europe. In 1972 he returned home and wrote pop music lyrics, scoring several hits with Raul Seixas, one of Brazil's best-known singers. In 1974 Coelho was briefly imprisoned for alleged subversive activities against the Brazilian government. After his release he worked for Polygram and CBS Records until 1980, when he embarked on new travels in Europe and Africa. It was during this trip that he walked the 830-km (516-mi) Road of Santiago, the ancient Spanish road used by pilgrims traveling from France to Spain. This extensive journey formed the basis of his first book, O diário de um mago (1987), which was published in English as The Diary of a Magus in 1992 and was reissued as The Pilgrimage in 1995.

      In 1988 Coelho published O alquimista, a mystical account of an Andalusian shepherd boy's journey across North Africa in search of treasure. After being dropped by its first publisher, the book was reissued and subsequently became one of Brazil's all-time best-sellers, with more than two million copies sold. The novel, which was widely translated, topped the best-seller list of the French publisher's magazine Livres Hebdo for a record 92 weeks and sold more than 150,000 copies in Italy. His latest book, Frases, a collection of short excerpts from his unpublished works and best-sellers, remained at or near the top of the Brazilian nonfiction best-seller list throughout most of 1996.

      Although Coelho's critical reception did not always match his popularity, as he once told a U.S. radio interviewer, "I try to share with my readers my inner quest; that's basically my spiritual quest. I don't have anything to teach . . . but actually I do have something to share. It is how I am experiencing this strange and sometimes very tricky path." (MICHAEL T. CALVERT)

* * *

▪ Brazilian author
born Aug. 24, 1947, Rio de Janeiro, Braz.
 
 Brazilian novelist who was known for employing rich symbolism in his depictions of the often spiritually motivated journeys taken by his characters.

      Coelho was raised in Rio de Janeiro. He rebelled against the conventions of his Roman Catholic upbringing and as a result was temporarily committed to a psychiatric hospital by his parents. Coelho dropped out of law school in 1970 and traveled through South America, Mexico, North Africa, and Europe. In 1972 he returned home and wrote pop music lyrics, notably for Raul Seixas, a well-known Brazilian singer. In 1974 Coelho was briefly imprisoned for alleged subversive activities against the Brazilian government.

      After his release he worked for Polygram and CBS Records until 1980, when he embarked on new travels in Europe and Africa. It was during this trip that he walked the route of Santiago de Compostela, some 500 miles (800 km) of roads first used during the Middle Ages by pilgrims traveling from France to Spain. This extensive journey, inflected by a renewed interest in Catholicism, formed the basis of his first book, O diário de um mago (1987), which was published in English as The Diary of a Magus in 1992 and was reissued as The Pilgrimage in 1995.

      In 1988 Coelho published O alquimista (The Alchemist), a mystical account of an Andalusian shepherd boy's journey across North Africa in search of treasure. After being dropped by its first publisher, the book was reissued to great success in Brazil and—in translation—abroad. His memoir As Valkírias (1992; The Valkyries) recounts a quest to speak with angels, undertaken with his first wife during their youthful immersion in the countercultural milieu of the 1970s. He again turned to fiction with Na margem do rio Piedra eu sentei e chorei (1994; By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept), which concerns the spiritual reawakening of a young Spanish woman.

      Coelho, who had recorded the trajectory of his return to the Catholic faith in The Pilgrimage and The Valkyries, continued to centre both his fiction and nonfiction works on questions of faith and spirituality. O Monte Cinco (1996; The Fifth Mountain) retells the story of the Biblical prophet Elijah while Manual do guerreiro da luz (1997; Manual of the Warrior of Light) couches a selection of spiritual exhortations from well-known religious figures in a fictional framework. Though Coelho's novels continued to succeed both in Brazil and abroad, critics often characterized them as overly didactic and moralizing.

      Coelho's later novels include Veronika decide morrer (1998; Veronika Decides to Die), which mines the perceived mental instability of his youth; O demônio e a Señorita Prym (2000; The Devil and Miss Prym), an investigation of the essential nature of humankind; and Onze minutos (2003; Eleven Minutes), which explores the boundaries between love and sex through the story of a prostitute. A bruxa de Portobello (2006; The Witch of Portobello) tells the story of a female religious leader in the form of interviews with those who knew her, while O Vencedor está só (2008; The Winner Stands Alone) is a thriller set against the Cannes Film Festival.

      In 1996 Coelho published Frases, a collection of short excerpts from his oeuvre; Life: Selected Quotations, a similar collection of excerpts translated into English, was released in 2007. Coelho compiled selections from his weekly column in the newspaper O Globo into a volume titled Maktub (“It Is Written”) in 1997. Using the Internet, Coelho broadened his readership by blogging (blog), expounding upon ideas advanced in his books, and making his books available for free. He founded the Paulo Coelho Institute in 1996 to provide aid to children and the elderly.

Michael T. Calvert Richard Pallardy
 

* * *

Источник: Coelho, Paulo

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