Sunday, November 7, 2004

Brazilian Writer Coelho in Armenia (7 November 2004): They used to say that Armenia has changed and reading a book is not any more a favored hobby. New media and entertainment sources have occupied the minds and the hearts of the new generation.

But his proved false when, a month ago, internationally famed Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho visited Armenia. Suddenly he conquered the headline news. The Public TV, which is also viewed abroad, covered extensive parts of his trip to Armenia and the meetings he had with ordinary fans and with prominent personalities as well.

Hovhannes Yeranian of "Yerkir" daily (8th October 2004) describes the meeting in the Writers Union with warm words: "The hall of the Writers Union was packed on 6 October 2004. I can’t remember any other recent occasion when so many people came to the Writers Union … Coelho, one of the most widely-read writers in the world, was impressed by such a warm reception by the Armenian readers".

During that meeting two translations (in Western and Eastern Armenian) of Coelho's famous book "Alchemist" were presented to the public, published by Van Arian and Vahe Satian publishing companies in Lebanon.

The president of the Brazilian International Union of Journalists was also visiting Armenia together with Paulo Coelho, with the purpose of publishing series of articles on Armenia and the Armenians.

Coelho said that there is something mystical when a writer meets with his readers. He disclosed that he had planned a long time ago to visit Armenia. He noted that he considers Armenia as a "mystic" country and a place for pilgrimage, especially that it is the homeland of so many Armenians who live around the world. He expressed hope that one day Armenians will return to their homeland.

Coelho also met with President R. Kocharian and Catholicos Karekin II. He visited Tzitzernagapert (memorial of the Armenian Genocide). recommends its readers to buy a copy of the Armenian translation of Coelho's book "Alchemist" in the language of their choice (Western and Eastern languages).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Paulo Coelho`s first book in Armenian

Paulo Coelho`s first book in Armenian

On Thursday the 28th of October, Hamazkayin`s Literary Committee is holding an event dedicated to the launching of Paulo Coelho`s first book in Armenian. The event will take place at 8;30 pm at Hamazkayin`s Levon Shant Center in Bourj Hammoud.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Famous author in Yerevan

. . . And Armenian Makes 69: Famous author in Yerevan to celebrate translation of “The Alchemist”
By Gayane Abrahamyan
ArmeniaNow Reporter

Internationally renowned author Paulo Coelho is in Yerevan in connection with the translation into Armenian of his best-selling novel “The Alchemist”.
The Brazilian writer’s works have been translated into 68 languages in more than 150 countries. “The Alchemist” is the first of his books to be translated into Armenian. He is in Armenia at the invitation of the Pan-Armenian Educational and Cultural Union.

Wednesday, fans and media packed the Writer’s Union hall to welcome their literary hero. The crowd spilled out of the hall, where fans were crying, begging to get inside, and even threatening police who were there to maintain order. No other writer has drawn such attention since William Saroyan came to Yerevan, 30 years ago.

“It has a mystic significance for a writer to see his work hit the mark,” Coelho said. “The reality of being in a land generally regarded a country of pilgrimage is as much mysterious. I like Yerevan and yesterday I spent 2-3 hours walking about the city and realized what warm and interesting people live here.”

On the first day of his visit Coelho visited the Genocide Memorial.

“It is a crime that the whole world should be conscious of. I understood that Armenians have a strong spirit for they never lost heart even after the Genocide,” said the writer.

Literary critics believe the secret of Coelho’s phenomenal success is in the clarity of his style and boundless optimism. But some critics also dismiss his work as pop pulp, from a writer who merely writes for mass consumption.

Coelho, 57, has found success in a style that challenges readers to dream and pursue those dreams.

“When my first book was published I feared I might be disappointed,” Coelho said. “I decided to absolutely forget about my dream if I am not successful.”

The anxiety of disappointment is far behind, his dozens of boohs have sold 51 million copies. He has been paid a pre-publication fee of $1 million for his next work, “The Fifth Mountain”.

At the beginning of the 1980s, during a trip with his wife Christine, Coelho visited Dahau, a Nazi concentration camp. The writer then started “excavating” Christianity, and went on a pilgrimage to France and Spain. After dabbling in black magic and other alternative spirituality, he returned to his Christian roots like a prodigal son.

“In my books I use fragments from the Gospel but it is not senseless, as they always lead me through my life,” says Coelho.

In the process of writing, he says, he feels like a woman impregnated by life, who has no idea what sort of child she will have. The pregnancy lasts 2 years. He never makes notes or forecasts.

“I only know that life has planted a seed in me, which will grow in due course. And when it is high time, I sit and write,” he says.

The writer doesn’t listen to claims that his writing has magical power.

“Literature can do nothing to people but inspire certain feelings in them. But this, in itself, is already enough to make changes. When you realize that you’re not alone you get additional power. I write what everybody else knows. It is not my mission to preach laws, I just remind and awaken the feelings present in a human being,” he says.

Friday, October 8, 2004

Paulo Coelho in Armenia

Paulo Coelho in Armenia
By Hovhannes Yeranian
October 8, 2004

The hall of the Writers Union was packed on October 6. I can’t remember any other recent occasion when so many people came to the Writers Union.

And this was indeed a unique and extraordinary occasion – one of the most famous writers of our times, Paulo Coelho was meeting the Armenian readers. Coelho, one of the most widely-read writers in the world, was impressed by such a warm reception by the Armenian readers.

Head of the Armenian office of Hamazgayin Educational-Cultural Union Lilit Galstian introduced Coelho and his works noting that the writer expands the spiritual limits of humanity with his works.

No other writer’s works have been translated into 60 foreign languages during his lifetime. Galstian informed the readers that Hamazgayin Union’s cooperation with Coelho will continue and all his works will be translated into Armenian.

The meeting at the Writer’s Union was devoted to the presentation of the Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian translations of Coelho’s “Alchemist” published by Van Arian and Vahe Satian publishing companies in Lebanon. Translators Artak Vardazarian and Khatchig Mouradian presented the author copies of the translated book. Actor David Hakobian read excerpts from the Eastern Armenian translation.

President of the Writers Union Levon Ananian called Coelho an artist who managed to combine reality and fantasy in an incredible flight of imagination.

A certificate of Honorable Member of the Armenian Writers Union was presented to Coelho. Levon Ananian expressed a hope that Coelho will reflect his impressions of his visit to Armenia in a book as he had done after his visit to Kazakhstan. “This is very important because his books are published and sold all over the world,” Ananian said.

The president of the Brazilian International Union of Journalists is visiting Armenia together with Paulo Coelho. The purpose of his visit is to publish a special series of articles on Armenia and the Armenians.
Coelho did not speak much during the meeting, “There is something mystical in a writer’s meeting with his readers and I am grateful that you have come here today.”

He noted that he had planned to visit Armenia a long time ago, but this was not merely a visit because Armenia is a pilgrimage country. He added that Armenia is interesting to him also because it is the homeland of the Armenians spread all over the world.
Coelho will have a press conference and a lecture at Yerevan State University. He will also meet Catolicos Garegin II and President Robert Kocharian. He will travel in Armenia, visit Tsitsernakaberd and Echmiadzin.

Kocharian Meets With Prominent Brazilian Writer Paulo Coelho

Kocharian Meets With Prominent Brazilian Writer Paulo Coelho

Yerevan, October 8, ArmenPress: Armenian president Robert Kocharian and his spouse Bella Kocharian met today with prominent Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, who is recognized for his powerful storytelling technique and the profound spiritual insights at a Yerevan museum. Coelho is in Armenia at the invitation of Hamazgayin Cultural Foundation.
Kocharian was quoted by his press service as saying that Paulo Coelho's works erode the boundary between the reality and the fantastic in the best traditions of Latin American literary heritage. The president also said the Armenian translation of one of his most acclaimed works, The Alchemist, has made it accessible to Armenian readers.
The conversation between the president and the prominent writer was about the role of culture and literature in upbringing of the new generations. Robert Kocharian wished Paulo Coelho new creative successes.