Wednesday, February 27, 2013

About Author Interviews: An Interview with Paulo Coelho from 'The Alchemist,' the 20th Anniversary Edition

About Author Interviews is my way of opening up conversations about interviews which have already taken place.  This is not a place to reiterate what has already been said in the interview, but to talk about the things that have been revealed in certain interviews.  Additionally, I'd like this to be a place where we can talk openly about the kinds of questions being asked in interviews, and the way interview questions are answered.  In many ways it's a way to talk about the content and style of interviews.

The first interview I want to start this series with is an interview with one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho.  This interview has been reported in The Alchemist, the 20th Anniversary edition, taken by Laura Sheahen.  Here are the questions asked about The Alchemist and Paulo Coelho's books, and a discussion of the answers.

Interview Questions Found in this Interview:
  • In The Alchemist, you refer to Soul of the World.  What exactly is this? How is it tied to religion or spirituality?
  • The alchemist character says that "everything has a soul" - including inanimate objects like rocks and water.  Do you believe that?
  • All souls are the same? Or are human souls in any way different?
  • You say we might know more "afterward." You're saying you think certain things might happen in the afterlife?
  • So we have to get rid of the notion of time?
  • You mentioned that you're a Catholic, but you've said elsewhere that your Jesuit upbringing was painful in some ways.  What do you see as the value of, and problems with, organized religion?
  • In your book Veronika Decides to Die, Veronika is bored with the sameness of every day.  How can people break out of the sameness?
  • You also say people should watch for omens.  Can you describe what you mean by omens?
  • Eleven Minutes wants to bring sexuality and spirituality to a healthier place.  How can this happen?

I feel like the interview questions in this interview are stronger than the answers.  Paulo Coelho, if you have read the interview you will see, answers the questions concisely and shortly.  I feel like he should be delving more into the subject of 'Soul of the World' than he actually does in the answers.  I feel like I don't know anything more from this interview than what I already knew from reading the books.

The interviewer did a fantastic job though, with this one, asking some really thorough and important questions.  These are questions, that as a fan of Paulo Coelho's books, was attracted towards discovering the answers to.  I feel like she also has a grasp of his book and content, as well as the impact and importance of the concepts behind his books.

Overall, though, the interview does give a good picture of how The Alchemist can change the way you think and affect the way you live.  It's a good interview to read to get an idea of how spiritually powerful Paulo Coelho can be with this novels.

How did you feel about this interview after you read it?

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