Reading The Alchemist: Foreword and Prologue

Foreword

“When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you.” -Coelho, about wanting to get his book published.

“Even if my neighbor doesn’t understand my religion or understand my politics, he can understand my story. If he can understand my story, then he’s never too far from me. It is always within my power to build a bridge.” -Coelho, 2014

Coelho is quite clearly an idealist. I scoff a little and, at the same time, wish his dream well. I wish for his vision to be true. I am in awe of his humility after such success with his book.

Prologue

“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.” -the lake to the goddess

Narcissism is defined as excessive interest in oneself and one’s appearance. When I look into my dog’s eyes, I see myself reflected. But if a lake were to look into Narcissus’ eyes, it would see itself, which reflects Narcissus. In the end, the lake sees Narcissus through Narcissus’ eyes, who is beautiful. In a way, both characters are “narcissistic”?

 

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