Lately I’ve been reading a few Paulo Coelho books. I won’t say they are beyond feminist criticism, but it’s not what I’m going to focus on this post; but as always, feel free to say in the comments why/if you find them problematic. I expect and welcome it because it might be another layer of this conversation that I don’t have time or am not yet emotionally ready for myself.
What I want to focus on is the solution the author seems to advance in each of his books, at least those I’ve read, to our perpetual unhappiness despite the evidence that everything is fine, better than might otherwise be.
Adultery: I never finished this one, actually. I had to take it back to the library the last time I had to leave Ireland, but I’m sure I will find it again and read the rest of it soon. So I can’t say what the ending revealed, but what sticks in my mind was the predicament of the main character. She, from her perspective, had it all: wealth, an interesting career she liked, an attractive husband who was attentive and kind, a family, health. This was why she was so confused that she was unhappy. This is the premise of many of his books: the person who doesn’t know why they are unhappy. Also, the observation that no one is really happy.
Continue reading “Seeking Happiness, According to Paulo Coelho by Elisabeth Schilling”