Eleven Minutes

‘’Eleven minutes “– Paulo Coelho It took many years gruelling quest before I found author whose style of writing is natural and real. Paulo Coelho is my favorite writer and like nobody else knows a way how to grab my attention. He is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. His books have been translated in 71 languages. Critics identify him with phenomenon of mass culture. He is rated among the best writers of all time. For me he became a true authority and I dare say that for many also.
I read almost all his works but especially one exerted a huge impression on me. ‘’Eleven minutes’’ originally “Onze minutos” was published in 2003 in 39 languages and until 2005 sold in 6 million copies. It is one from this books which has a powerful magnetizing effect on me. The novel tells a story about young woman Maria, her beauty attracted to men. She lives in the Brazilian province. We meet her as a child who dreams of a prince from fairy tale and a quiet house overlooking the sea. Her first innocent contacts with love leave her heartbroken.
As a teenager she already knew what suffering is and was living in the belief that love brings only pain and is not worth to worry about. She is confident that will never find true, pure love. After graduating school she found a job in a store with fabrics. Owner fell in love with her but these unpleasant experiences from the past cause that she was only guided by a desire to hold money. This contributed to the fact that Maria has used him and then went to Brazil. There she met a rich guy who offered her a job as a dancer at a nightclub in Switzerland.

Excited girl thought that the fortune had smiled upon her and this trip will help her make a career and earn the money she has always dreamed of. But Maria soon discovers that the work is different than she had imagined. The salary was low and working conditions below her expectations. Also, the employer was a completely different man. She decided not to give up because only her stubbornness could help her achieve the desired success. She entered into an affair with a rich Arab. She began to neglect her duties as a dancer, which led to job losses.
Unfortunately, as it used to be in the life of Maria her lover dumped the girl and with this left another deep wound in her heart. This unpleasant experience cemented her belief that love is nothing. She wanted to become a model but she didn’t succeed it because the man who had to take care of her career turned out to be only a man seeking a woman for one night. Deprived of all hopes and dreams were not wondered long and with the adoption of a proposal from a stranger a part of Maria’s soul died. After that fateful night she has been meditating on her life.
She could not go home with nothing therefore she decided to follow the path she chose. Maria borrowed many books about sex and bought clothes that seemed relevant to her profession. She began looking for work which proved to be very easy. After the first, actually the second night she didn’t feel like her, she hasn’t thought about it and started to do it automatically like someone who is devoid of all feelings. She tried to explain why she was doing but she couldn’t. Maria wanted to become the best in her profession to earn in the short time a lot of money.
After six months she was unrivalled. She had high expectations of her customers which helped her keep respect for herself. She wanted only to survive the next 6 months and with a sizeable sum in the account return to Brazil where she will buy a small farm, animals and parents will take under her roof. She moved to a more comfortable dwelling and was careful to not fall in love. One day, when she had free afternoon went for a walk when she met a painter named Ralf Hart. Maria felt by him as the friend whom she had known for a long time.
Girl for the first time told someone the whole truth because she felt safe with him. At all meetings the man showed her true life reminded her that prostitution did not lead to anything besides money that has no value. Maria guided by an impulse decided to abandon the present life and return to the country. She did not intend to ask Ralf to go with her. She was grateful that he made that she was capable to love again. The end of her stay in Geneva was approaching. In two weeks, she had to leave Europe. She decided that the day before departure, she will say her lover about her plans.
He tried to persuade her to not leave but she was adamant. Last night they spent together and then she went to the airport. All the time Maria believed that Ralf will show up at the last moment, like in the movies, take her in his arms and never let go. But that has not happened. When she flew to Paris, was still a lot of time until the next plane. She thought about it, or not spend one day in Paris, explore, contemplate about what had happened, but it turned out that the ticket does not allow for departure the next day.
Suddenly she heard a voice. It was Ralf. He said that he had seen her at the airport in Geneva and flew to Paris to make her a surprise. She did not care about what will happen in the future, the present was the most important at this time. I stood before choosing to describe the entire book or just a fragment. I decided to describe everything not only a part because a whole novel and its message had a great influence on me. Novel’s language engages the attention – it is specific to the style of Coelho.
On the one hand we find a metaphor, rich symbolism, subjectivity and emotion marked by language, which is perfectly adapted to the philosophical sense of the whole work. But this is not a reason to worry about because philosophical doesn’t mean something difficult. Coelho want to get closer to his readers, he isn’t inventing his own, an abstract style. On the contrary – often uses colloquial words and phrases, so readers can easily identify with this book and its characters as human as he is. Even Maria is close to us – the script of her life could be a scenario, each of our lives.
Her reflections are forcing the reader to his own reflection and try to answer questions like: what is for us sex nowadays? Or how much of our lives can change the case, for example the reading of boring books about the science in an exclusive cafe? These and other questions will also find the answer in the discussions of Mary with her customers, Ralf and the librarian. As I already mentioned the book contains many quotations. Especially one is impressive for me: “Everybody wants absolute love, and is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it.
But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with. ” With these words comes a great moral, if we will be love ourselves with our shortcomings and weaknesses, we will be immensely happy. It’s not about loving ourselves unconditionally and did not notice our own faults but try to work on them as far as possible and then keep a distance to ourselves. If we would satisfy our own needs then we will be able to love others, because each of us is dying for love, even if we try to defend against it.
And I think that everyone has a moment in your life when he opens up for this feeling, it happens when we meet our true love. This book will inspire you to find the “light” that Ralf saw in Maria that she didn’t know she have. It awakens your senses and sensual side, allowing passion and love to take you to different heights. The novel not only shows us how to realize our dreams, but also how to follow your heart and love without being selfish because we cannot own anyone. Our love should be free as we want to be free. No words can talk about this book…. just wonderful.

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