A review or a reviewer’s musings? You decide…
Sometimes a story/book/novel seizes your heart and refuses to let go. Such is my love affair with this book, Manuscript Found in Accra.
Let me share a few of the highlights from the book. I imagine when I allow myself to finish, I will have underlined at least one hundred sections. I’m savoring every page.
“As far as Coelho is concerned, this “Manuscript Found in Accra” is not in 1099 or 4859, much less at the end of 492. The Copt believes only in the present moment and what he calls Moira–the unknown god, the Divine Energy, responsible for a single law, which if ever broken, will bring about the end of the world.”
“I am not here to tell you that defeat is part of life; we all know that. Only the defeated know Love. Because it is in the realm of Love that we fight our first battles–and generally lose.”
“Wait patiently for the right moment to act. Do not let the next opportunity slip by you. Take pride in your scars. Scars are medals branded on flesh, and your enemies will be frightened by them because they are proof of your long experience of battle. Often this will lead them to seek dialogue and avoid conflict. Scars speak more loudly than the sword that caused them.”
“In the silence of the night, they fight their imaginary battles: their unrealized dreams, the injustices to which they turned a blind eye, the moments of cowardice they managed to conceal from other people–but not from themselves–the love that crossed their path with a sparkle in its eyes, the love God had intended for them, but which they lacked the courage to embrace. And they promise themselves: “Tomorrow will be different.” But tomorrow comes and the paralyzing question surfaces in their mind: “What if it doesn’t work out?” And so they do nothing. Woe to those who were never beaten! They will never be winners in life.”
“Solitude is not the absence of Love, but it’s complement. Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.”
“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself. And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.”
“For those who fear the solitude, it’s important to remember that in life’s most significant moments we are always alone. Take the child emerging from a woman’s womb: it doesn’t matter how many people are present; the final decision to live rests with the child. Take the artist and his work: in order for his work to be really good, he needs to be still and hear only the language of the angels. Take all of us, when we find ourselves face-to-face with the Unwanted Visitor, Death; we will all be alone at that most important and most feared moment of our existence. Just as Love is the divine condition, so solitude is the human condition. And for those who understand the miracle of life, those two states peacefully coexist.”
Manuscript Found in Accra is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The action is placed in 1099 in Jerusalem while the city awaits the invasion of the crusaders. Inside the city’s walls, men and women gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious Greek man– known as the Copt. The people begin with questions about their fears, true enemies, defeat, and struggle; they contemplate the will to change, and the virtues of loyalty and solitude; and ultimately turn to questions of beauty, sex, and elegance, love.