Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ryszard Kapuscinski

The first book of Ryszard Kapuscinski's I read was The Emperor, in
2003 while living in Eritrea, which used to be an Ethiopian colony.
What a wonderful reporter, what a great writer I thought then. In
2007, when the New York Times and the Washington Post praised
Kapuscinski's Travels with Herodotus to high heaven, I bought a copy
and gave it to Véronique (not least because she'd read Herodotus in
the original Greek). She's been urging me to read it ever since she
read it during a trip we made to Paris. I finally did so this morning,
on the train, and all I can say is that it's a book I will reread many
times in the coming years. I don't think any book since Nadezhda
Mandelstam's Hope against Hope, which I read five years ago, has
touched me more deeply. I wish I had the time to jot down my
impressions of Kapuscinsk's last book. But a translation deadline
looms. I just wanted to record the day I read Travels with Herodotus.
Back to work...