Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo

Veronika decides to die
Veronika Decides to Die  is a novel by Paulo Coelho. It tells the story of 24-year-old Slovenian Veronika, who appears to have everything in life going for her, but who decides to kill herself. This book is partly based on Coelho's experience in variousmental institutions (see the biography Confessions of A Pilgrim by Juan Arias). It is based around the subject of madness. The gist of the message is that "collective madness is called sanity".

From the book

She picked up the four packs of sleeping pills from her bedside table. Instead of crushing them and
mixing them with water, she decided to take them one by one, because there is always a gap between
intention and action, and she wanted to feel free to turn back half way. However, with each pill she
swallowed, she felt more convinced: after five minutes the packs were empty.
Since she didn’t know exactly how long it would take her to lose consciousness, she had placed on the
bed that month’s issue of a French magazine,Homme, which had just arrived in the library where she
worked. She had no particular interest in computer science, but, as she leafed through the magazine, she
came across an article about a computer game (one of those CD-Roms), created by Paulo Coelho, a
Brazilian writer she had happened to meet at a lecture in the caf? at the Grand Union Hotel. They had
exchanged a few words and she had ended up being invited by his publisher to join them for supper.
There were a lot of people there, though, and they hadn’t had a chance to talk in depth about anything.
The fact that she had met the author, however, led her to think that he was part of her world, and that
reading an article about his work could help pass the time. While she was waiting for death, Veronika
started reading about computer science, a subject in which she was not in the least bit interested, but then
that was in keeping with what she had done all her life, always looking for the easy option, for whatever
was nearest to hand. Like that magazine, for example.
To her surprise, though, the first line of text shook her out of her natural passivity (the tranquillizers had
not yet dissolved in her stomach, but Veronika was, by nature, passive), and, for the first time in her life,
it made her ponder the truth of a saying that was very fashionable amongst her friends: ‘nothing in this
world happens by chance’.
Why that first line, at precisely the moment when she had begun to die? What was the hidden message
she saw before her, assuming there are such things as hidden messages rather than mere coincidences.
Underneath an illustration of the computer game, the journalist began his article by asking: ‘Where is
‘Honestly,’she thought, ‘no one ever knows where Slovenia is.’
But Slovenia existed nonetheless, and it was outside, inside, in the mountains around her and in the
square she was looking out at: Slovenia was her country.
She put the magazine to one side, there was no point now in getting indignant with a world that knew
absolutely nothing about the Slovenes; her nation’s honour no longer concerned her. It was time to feel
proud of herself, to recognise that she had been able to do this, that she had finally had the courage and
was leaving this life: what joy! Also she was doing it as she had always dreamed she would—by taking
sleeping pills, which leave no mark.

No comments:

Post a Comment

leave your opinion