Maktub-P.Coelho

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Raporteaza o eroare
Paulo Coelho, seen by some as an alchemist of words and, by others, as a mass culture phenomenon, is the most influential author of the present century. Readers from over 150 countries, irrespective of their creed and culture, have turned him into a reference author of our time.

His books, translated into 56 languages, have not only topped the bestseller lists, but have gone on to become the subject of social and cultural debate. The ideas, philosophy and subject matter covered in his books touch the aspirations of millions of readers searching for their own path and for new ways of understanding the world.

Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 into a middle-class family, the son of Pedro, an engineer, and Lygia, a housewife.

At seven, he entered the Jesuit school of San Ignacio in Rio de Janeiro. Paulo came to detest the obligatory nature of religious practice. However, although he hated praying and going to mass, there were compensations. In the school's austere corridors, Paulo discovered his true vocation: to be a writer. He won his first literary prize in a school poetry competition, and his sister, Sonia, recounts how she won an essay prize by entering something that Paulo had discarded in the wastepaper bin.

However, Paulo's parents had very different plans for their son's future. They wanted him to be an engineer and tried to stifle his desires to devote himself to literature. Their intransigence and his discovery of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer aroused Paulo's spirit of rebellion, and he began routinely to flout the family rules. His father took this behaviour as a sign of mental illness and, when Paulo was seventeen, he twice had him committed to a psychiatric hospital, where Paulo underwent several sessions of electroconvulsive therapy.

Shortly after this, Paulo became involved with a theatre group and began working as a journalist. In the eyes of the comfortably-off middle classes of the time, the theatre was a hotbed of immorality. His frightened parents decided to break their promise not to confine him again and hat him readmitted to hospital for the third time.

When he came out, Paulo was even more lost and more enclosed in his own private world. In despair, the family called in another doctor who told them: Paulo isn't mad and he shouldn't be in a psychiatric hospital. He simply has to learn how to face up to life. Thirty years after these experiences, Paulo Coelho wrote Veronika Decides to Die.

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