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Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932)    

Born in Pinsk, now in Belarus, in 1932, Kapuscinski is the pre-eminent writer among Polish reporters. After honing his skills on domestic stories, he traveled throughout the world and reported on several dozen wars, coups and revolutions in America, Asia, and especially in Africa, where he witnessed the liberation from colonialism. He has devoted several books to Africa, including his latest, the forthcoming Ebony. After earning a reputation as an insightful reporter, Kapuscinski amazed his readers in the 1970s with a series of books of increasing literary craftsmanship in which the narrative technique, psychological portraits of the characters, wealth of stylization and metaphor, and the unusual imagery served as means of interpreting the perceived world. Kapuscinski's best-known book is just such a reportage-novel of the decline of Haile Selassie's anachronistic regime in Ethiopia - The Emperor, which has been translated into many languages. Shah of Shahs, about the last Shah of Iran, and Imperium, about the last days of the Soviet Union, have enjoyed similar success. Kapuscinski is fascinated not only by exotic worlds and people, but also by books: he approaches foreign countries first through the gate of literature, spending many months reading before each trip. He knows how to listen to the people he meets, but he is also capable of "reading" the hidden sense of the scenes he encounters: the way that the Europeans move out of Angola, a discussion about alimony in the Tanganyikan parliament, the reconstruction of frescoes in the new Russia - he turns each of these vignettes into a metaphor of historical transformation. This tendency to process private adventures into a synthesis has made Kapuscinski an eminent thinker, and the three volumes of his Lapidarium are a fascinating record of the shaping of a reporter's observations into philosophical reflections on the world and people. One of the things that caught my attention as I wandered through the territory of the Imperium was the way that, even in abandoned and derelict little towns, even in almost empty bookstores, there were on sale, as a rule, maps of this country. On those maps, the rest of the world was somehow in the background, in the margins, in the shadows. For Russians, a map is a kind of visual compensation, a special emotional sublimation, and also an object of unconcealed pride. It also serves to elucidate and excuse all shortcomings, mistakes, poverty and stagnation. Too big a country to be reformable! - explains an opponent of reform. Too big a country to be able to clean it up! - janitors shrug their shoulders from Brest to Vladivostok. Too big a country to be able to ship merchandise everywhere! - grumble the assistants in empty shops.

a felfedezések nem segítenek a harmadik világon, csak az igazságtalanságot növelik
a média játék a gazdagok kezében, amit a gazdagok arra használnak, hogy még gazdagabbak legyenek