Here Paulo Coelho details his journey across Spain along the legendaryroad of San Tiago, which pilgrims have travelled since Middle Ages. On this contemporary quest, he encounters a Chaucerian variety of mysterious guides and devilish opponents and learns to understand the nature of truth through the simplicity of life. The Pilgrimage holds an important place in Paulo Coelho ' s literary canon.His first book, it not only paved the way for his phenomenal novel The Alchemist , but it also fully expresses his humanist philosophy and the depth of his unique search for meaning.
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1 . Informative, gripping, You feel like your there.
Posted May 18, 2010 by Colin , GrassiePaulo Coelho's The Pilgrimage, was beyound doubt high on the list of great books that I have read. It is hard to separate yourself away from the story and go to work. I feel inspired to take the journey myself now.
April 26, 2000
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Excerpt from The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho
THE CUSTOMS AGENT SPENT MORE TIME THAN USUAL examining the sword that my wife had brought into the country and then asked what we intended to do with it. I said that a friend of ours was going to assess its value so that we could sell it at auction. This lie worked: the agent gave us a declaration stating that we had entered the country with the sword at the Bajadas airport, and he told us that if we had any problems trying to leave the country with it, we need only show the declaration to the customs officials.
We went to the car rental agency and confirmed our two vehicles. Armed with the rental documents, we had a bite together at the airport restaurant prior to going our separate ways.
We had spent a sleepless night on the plane ' the result of both a fear of flying and a sense of apprehension about what was going to happen once we arrived ' but now we were excited and wide awake.
"Not to worry," she said for the thousandth time. "You're supposed to go to France and, at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, seek out Mme Lourdes. She is going to put you in touch with someone who will guide you along the Road to Santiago."
"And what about you " I asked, also for the thousandth time, knowing what her answer would be.
"I'm going where I have to go, and there I'll leave what has been entrusted to me. Afterward, I'll spend a few days in Madrid and then return to Brazil. I can take care of things back there as well as you would."
"I know you can," I answered, wanting to avoid the subject. I felt an enormous anxiety about the business matters I had left behind in Brazil. I had learned all I needed to know about the Road to Santiago in the fifteen days following the incident in the Agulhas Negras, but I had vacillated for another seven months before deciding to leave everything behind and make the trip. I had put it off until one morning when my wife had said that the time was drawing near and that if I did not make a decision, I might as well forget about the road of the Tradition and the Order of RAM. I had tried to explain to her that my Master had assigned me an impossible task, that I couldn't simply shrug off my livelihood. She had smiled and said that my excuse was dumb, that during the entire seven months I had done nothing but ask myself night and day whether or not I should go. And with the most casual of gestures, she had held out the two airline tickets, with the flight already scheduled.
"We're here because of your decision," I said glumly now in the airport restaurant. "I don't know if this will even work, since I let another person make the decision for me to seek out my sword."
My wife said that if we were going to start talking nonsense, we had better say good-bye and go our separate ways.
"You have never in your life let another person make an important decision for you. Let's go. It's getting late." She rose, picked up her suitcase, and headed for the parking lot. I didn't stop her. I stayed seated, observing the casual way in which she carried my sword; at any moment it seemed that it could slip from under her arm.