Eleven Minutes Novel

Reading for me is exactly like traveling. It let you see what was impossible for you to see in your home. Through reading this novel, I came to realize that i know nothing about the world. It is really interesting to look at people life,  to hear their stories, to know how they react in their specific crisis and problems. It is true that everyone of us has his or her own world. I will write my reflection on this novel later but for now, I just typed out some parts of the novel that gained my attention
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“at the moment, maria learned that certain things are lost forever. she learned too that there was a place called”somewhere far away,” that the world was vast and her own town was very small and that in the end, the most interesting people always leave” p.4
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from her diary
when we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is in on our side. i saw this happen today as the sun went down. and yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! no herons, no distant music, not even the taste of his lips. how is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? life moves very fast. it rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds. p.9
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when she arrived home, though, she allowed her universe to crumble; she cried all night, suffered for the next eight months and concluded that love clearly wasn’t made for her and that she wasn’t made for love. she considered a nun and devoting the rest of her life to a kind of love that didn’t hurt and didn’t leave painful scars on heart- love for Jesus. p.10,11
After a long time, she came to the conclusion that men brought only pain, frustration, suffering and a sense of time dragging. p.13
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Although my aim is to understand love, and although i suffer to think of the people to whom i gave my heart, i see that those who touched my heart failed to arouse my body, and those who aroused my body failed to touch my heart. p.16
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everything tells me that i am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. what does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back where i came from because i didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life? p.25
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i made my first mistake when i was eleven years old, when that boy asked me if could lend him a pencil; since then, i’ve realized that sometimes you get no second chance that it’s best to accept the gifts the world offers you. of course it’s risky, but is the risk any greater than the chance of the bus that took forty eight hours to bring me here having an accident? if i must be faithful to someone or something, then i have, first of all, to be faithful to myself. p.26
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the little experience of life i’ve had has taught me that no one owns anything, that everything is an illusion- and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. p.26
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anyone who has lost something they thought was their forever… finally comes to realize that nothing really belong to them. p.26
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it is better to live as if today were the first (or last) day of my life. p.26
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i will die here. but before i die, i want to fight for life. if i can walk on my own, i can go whenever i like. p.41
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well, i would feel trapped and sick, terrified of every bend, wanting to get off. however, i believe that the track is my destiny and that God is in charge of the machine, then the nightmare becomes something thrilling. it becomes exactly what it is, a roller coaster, a safe, reliable toy, which will eventually stop, but, while the journey lasts, i must look at the surrounding landscape and whoop with excitement. p.48
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life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant. p.50
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love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person’s whole life, from one moment to the next. p.53
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the second thing that could make human being take a totally different course from one he or she had planned; and that was called despair. p.53
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Yes, perhaps love really could transform someone, but despair did the job quickly. p.53
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i walk about the streets and look at all the people, and i wonder if they chose their lives? or were they, like me, “chosen” by fate? the housewife who dreamed of becoming a model, the banker who wanted to be a musician, the dentist who felt he should write a book and devote himself to literature, the girl who would have loved to be a TV star, but who found herself instead working at the checkout in a supermarket. p.55
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like most people – i let fate choose which route i should take. p.55
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in the search for happiness, however, we are all equal: none of us is happy- not the banker/musician, the dentist/writer, the checkout girl/actress, or the housewife/model.p.56
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we live in a vale of tears,” she said to her invisible friend. we can have all the dreams we like, but life is hard, implacable, sad.p.61
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he wouldn’t pay a thousand francs just to have an orgasm. he wants to be happy. i do too, everyone does, and yet no one is. what have i got to lose if, for a while,, i decide to become a … it’s difficult word to think or even write… but let’s be blunt… what i have got to lose if i decide to become a prostitute for a while?p.62
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Honor, Dignity, Self-respect. althought, when i think about it, i’ve never had any of those things.i didn’t ask to be born, i’ve never found anyone to love me, i’ve always made the wrong decision. now i’m letting life decide for me.p62
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i am not a body with a soul, i’m a soul that has a visible part called the body.p.73
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but if i don’t think about love, i will be nothing.p.73
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they all dream of someone who will come along and see in them a real woman-companion, lover, friend. but they all know, from the very first moment of each new encounter, that this simply isn’t going to happen.p.74
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i need to write about love. i need to think and think and write and write about love.- otherwise, my soul wouldn’t survive. p.74
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she was doing it because she had nothing to lose, because her life was one of constant, day to day frustration.p.75
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a man doesn’t prove he’s a man by getting an ererction. he’s only a real man if he can pleasure a woman. and if he can pleasure a prostitute, he’ll think he’s the best lover on the block.p.77
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all men, tall or short, arrogant or unassuming, friendly or cold, have one characterstic in common.: when they come to the club, they are afraid. the more experienced amongst them hide their fear by talking loudly, the more inhibited cannot hide their feeling, and start drinking to see if they can drive the fear away. but i am convinced that, with a few very rare exception- p.83
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human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. it is the worst of all sufferings.p.88
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in order to avoid being tempted by love, she kept her heart for her diary.p.88
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all my life, i thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. well, that’s a lie. freedom only exists when love is present. p.90
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that is why, regardless of what i might experience, do or learn, nothing make sense. i hope this time passes quickly, so that i can resume my search for myself in the form of a man who understands me and does not make me suffer. p.90
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in love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.p.90
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this is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.p.90
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she finally worked out why she was feeling so uncomfortable: for the first time in many months, someone was looking at her not as an object, not even as a woman, but as something she could not comprehend; the closest she could come to putting it into words was: he’s seeing my soul, my fears, my fragility, my inability to deal with a world which i pretend to master, but about which i know nothing .p.99
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how does light enter a house? through the open windows. how does light enter a person? through the open door of love. p.100
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well, there are three of me, really, depending on who i’m with. there’s the innocent girl, who gazes admiringly at the man, pretending to be impressed by his tales of power and glory. then there’s the femme fatale who pounces on the most insecure and, by doing so, takes control of the situation and relieves them responsibility, because they don’t have to worry about anything. and, finally, there’s the understanding mother, who looks after those in need of advise and who listen with an all-comprehending air to stories that go in one ear and out the other. which of the three would you like to meet? p.109
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there is a name for that pebble: passion. it can be used to describe the beauty of an earth-shaking meeting between two people, but it isn’t just that. it is there in the excitement of the unexpected, in the desire to do something real forever, in the certainty that one is going to realize a dream. p.112
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passion send us signals that guide us through our lives, and it’s up to me to interpret those signs. p.112
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the great aim of every human being is to understand the meaning of total love.p.116
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love isn’t to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. but in order to do that, we need the other person. p.116
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the universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.p.116
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passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling a peace. alot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path.p119
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no one wants their life thrown into chaos, that is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. they are the engineers of the superseded. p.119.
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other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solution to all their problem. they make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. they are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything.p.120
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keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it- which of these attitudes is the least destructive ? i don’t know . p.12o
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when desire is still in this pure state, the man and the woman fall in love with life, they live each moment reverently, consciously, always ready to celebrate the next blessing.p.133
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i’ve met a man and fallen in love with him. i allowed myself to fall in love for one simple reason: i’m not expecting anything to come of it. i know that, in three months’ time, i’ll be far away and he will be just a memory, but i couldn’t stand living without love any longer; i had reach my limit.p.138
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if we are desperate, thought, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm , then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes direction.p.139
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and then, our bodies learn to speak the language of the soul, known as sex, and that is what i can give the man who gave me back my soul, even through he has no idea how important he is to my life.p.139
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pain was no longer a cause of suffering, but a source of pleasure .p.146
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there is no greater pleasure than that of initiating someone into an unknown world. taking someone’s virginity – the virginity not of their body, but of their soul. p.147
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The Marquis de Sade said that the most important experience a man can have are those that take him to the very limit.p.149
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there are people who have never dared to look into the depths of their soul, never attempted to know the origin of that desire to unleash the wild beast, or to understand that sex, pain and love are all extreme experience. p.149
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it is true that we only know each other when we come up against our own limits, but it’s wrong too, because it isn’t necessary to know everything ; human beings weren’t made solely to go in search of wisdom, but also to plough the land, wait for rain, plant the wheat, harvest the grain, make the bread. p.151
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i am two women, one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. the other wants to be a slave of routine, to family life, to the things that be be planned and achieved. i am the house wife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other. p.151
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desire is not what you see, but what you imagine. p.159
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Every human being experiences his or her own desire; it is part of our personal treasure and although as an emotion, it can drive people away, generally speaking, it brings those who are important to us closer. it is an emotion chosen by my soul, and it is so intense that i can infect everything and everyone around me. p.165
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i have reached a conclusion that sex has come to be used as some kind of drug: in order to escape reality, to forget about problem, to relax. and like all drugs, this is harmful and destructive practice. p.173
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if you love another person, you don’t depend on the sex act in order to feel good.p174
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the world enjoys suffering and pain. there’s sadism in the way we look at these things and masochism in our conclusion that we don’t need to know all this in order to be happy, and yet we watch other people’s tragedies and sometimes suffer along with them. p,177
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ever since we expelled from paradise, we have either been suffering, making other people suffer or watching the suffering of others. it’s beyond our control. p.177
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when i had nothing to lose, i had everything. when i stopped being who i am, i found myself. p.189
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when i experience humiliation and total submission, i was free. p.189
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the art of sex is the art of controlled abandon. p.190
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we are human beings, we are born full of guilt; we feel terrified when happiness becomes a real possibility; and we die wanting to punish everyone else because we feel important, ill-used and unhappy. p.194
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he made me walk on stone, just as i am making you do today. he made me feel the fold. he forced to understand the beauty of pain, except that the pain was imposed by nature, not by man. he called this shu-gen-do. p.195
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she didn’t know if it was the cold or the pain, but she suddenly lost all sense of her own body and entered a state in which there was no desire and no fear, only mysterious.. a mysterious peace. p.198
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there are certain suffering which can only be forgotten once we have succeeded in floating above our own pain. p.198
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if you can live without suffering, that’s great step forward, but don’t imagine that other people will understand you. p.201
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pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring only joy: love. p.201
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she thinks about the other prostitutes who work with her. she thinks about her mother and her friend. they all believe that man feels desire for only eleven minutes a day, and they will pay a fortune for it. that’s not true; a man is also a woman; he wants to find someone, to give meaning to his life.p.209
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without the bird, her life too lost all meaning and death came knocking at her door. why have you come? she asked death. so that you can fly once more with him across the sky. death replied : if you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him even more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again. p.315
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Money! a special piece of paper, decorated in sombre colors, which everyone agreed was worth something- and she believed it, everyone believed it- until you took a pile of that paper to bank, a respectable, traditional, highly confidential Swiss bank and asked: could i buy back a few hours of my life? no, madam, we don’t sell, we only buy. p.224
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if we are in exile, we want to store away every tiny memory of our roots. if we are far from the person we love, everyone we pass in the street reminds us of them. If we are far from the person we love, everyone was pass in the street reminds us of them.p.231
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a time to weep and a time to laugh
a time to get and a time to lose
p.263
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4 thoughts on “Eleven Minutes Novel

  1. sawtauntha

    I’m thinking of reading this novel but not now cuz now I have to finish Veronika Decides to Die.
    By the way Paulo Coelho is a transcendentalist which means that he’s following my uncle’s school of thought (always loves to talk about her uncle :p) it’s true that Paulo is not an American but he’s somehow influenced by Emerson’s school.

  2. darling

    can you please write a reflection on this book, like if theres ways this novel might have connected to your life.. ?

  3. vivaaguila

    I read this novel in Spanish, and I absolutely loved it. Paulo Coelho has a way of reaching one’s soul. I found your blog because I was looking for the quote, “Although my aim is to understand love, and although i suffer to think of the people to whom i gave my heart, i see that those who touched my heart failed to arouse my body, and those who aroused my body failed to touch my heart” p.16. It really stuck with me. I can relate to Maria in so many ways. Thank you so much for sharing the passages from this novel, it is nice to revisit them. I hope to soon write and entry on my experience reading it. Maybe I’ll share the passages in Spanish from the book. I love your blog!

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