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Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept" by Paulo Coelho

Brilliant. Simply, brilliant.

A novel of forgiveness is a wonderful, awe-inspiring way of setting the readers up to understand the many ways Coelho's novel is to be interpreted. Because certainly there is not simply one meaning in this tale. This is the second novel I have read by Paulo Coelho, first introduced to him through The Alchemist, which made me appreciate fiction as art moreso than any other novel I had read before hand. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept has furthered this appreciation.

Its simplicity in prose allows the audience to dive into the myriad or messages this book provides eep within its words: forgiveness of a love that came around unexpectedly, forgiveness for decisions made in order to achieve love, forgiveness to yourself for losing faith in others, in God, in love, forgiveness for so many things in your past that affect the way you feel and react in every situation. And certainly, I have not discovered the many other ways forgiveness is portrayed in By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

The only issue I had with this novel, and it is a minor one (one probably meant to reiterate the emotions of Pilar, the main character), is the repition of her realizations: love, faith, understanding, etc. This novel has heavy religious references and perhaps this repition is used to symbolize the Catholic use of 'Hail Mary' and 'Our Father' prayers. Perhaps it is a character flaw that Pilar has of repeating things and this is how Coelho expresses his image of her. When reading this book, it is something to be aware of and try to think little about so the story can still continue without interruption. It is a short novel, so this shouldn't be hard.

My absolute favorite thing about Coelho's By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is the representation of religion. In this novel, Coelho's writes about the duality of God and Goddess, how they are inevitably one being with two faces (in essence). The Masculine and Feminine, and he goes so far as to explain where in the Bible this is explained and represented. Jesus as the masculine incarnation of God, and the Virgin Mary as the feminine incarnation of Goddess. He also writes about the physical manifestations of both God and Goddess on Earth, and how religion has tried to explain to us how to live with our faith and continue on in life. This seems to be a common theme throughout Coelho's work (having seen a similar theme in The Alchemist and appreciated how he works with the message).

I recommend reading By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept for many reasons: it is eye opening to religion and belief, it gives the audience tools to use when dealing with grief, it is inspiring and warms the heart, and it teaches (as writing should do).

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