From the Author

What is the central idea behind The Zahir?

That the unexpected happens, and that we’re not always prepared for it. When everything in our life appears to be organised, that is the danger-point, because what we call "organisation" is really just a story we’ve been told, but it’s not a story that can be sustained. I try to explore the story we haven’t been told, taking as my main character a successful writer who, when his wife suddenly leaves him, is forced to reassess his life. However, instead of taking a step forward and discovering new opportunities, he becomes obsessed by the question: "Why did my wife leave me?" and that turns into his Zahir.

What is a Zahir?

According to the writer Jorge Luis Borges, the idea of the Zahir comes from the Islamic tradition and probably arose in the eighteenth century. In Arabic "zahir" means "visible", "present", "incapable of going unnoticed". It can refer to an object or a person, and that object or person gradually takes over our every thought, until we are unable to think of anything else. This could be considered a state of holiness or a state of madness.

The Zahir can be a person, a job, an objective, but the attempt to possess or achieve it never brings us happiness, instead, it becomes an unhealthy obsession. Unfortunately, this is an experience everyone goes through.

Can a person have more than one Zahir in their life?

As frustrations accumulate, Zahirs appear. That way, we don’t think about how to solve the problem, instead we become fixated on its image.

It’s one thing to follow our dreams and to believe in the signs that guide us on our way. Then we have a goal to aim at, but we also enjoy the journey. With a Zahir we don’t get that same feeling of joy with every step we take, only the stubborn desire to get what we believe to be necessary for us to live.

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Judul: The Zahir
Penulis: Paulo Coelho
Penerbit: Harper
Edisi: 2005
Halaman: 298
Sampul: Soft Cover
Bahasa: Indonesia
Kondisi: Buku Bekas Koleksi Pribadi
Lokasi: 823/Coe/z

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