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Ryszard Kapuściński

Datum narození: 4. březen 1932
Datum úmrtí: 23. leden 2007

Ryszard Kapuściński [ryšard kapuščiňski] byl polský reportér, novinář a publicista. Je to v současnosti nejpřekládanější polský autor [zdroj?].

Citáty Ryszard Kapuściński


„Problémem dnešního světa je, že co bylo včera se nestává minulostí, ale rovnou archeologií. “

„A journey, after all, neither begins in the instant we set out, nor ends when we have reached our door step once again. It starts much earlier and is really never over, because the film of memory continues running on inside of us long after we have come to a physical standstill. Indeed, there exists something like a contagion of travel, and the disease is essentially incurable.“ Travels with Herodotus


„If reason ruled the world would history even exist?“

„Literature seemed to be everything then. People looked to it for the strength to live, for guidance, for revelation.“

„There aren't many such enthusiasts born. The average person is not especially curious about the world. He is alive, and being somehow obliged to deal with this condition, feels the less effort it requires, the better. Whereas learning about the world is labor, and a great all-consuming one at that. Most people develop quite antithetical talents, in fact - to look without seeing, to listen without hearing, mainly to preserve onself within oneself.“ Travels with Herodotus

„The continent is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say 'Africa'. In reality, except as a geographical appellation, Africa does not exist.“ The Cobra's Heart

„We do not really know what draws a human being out into the world. Is it curiosity? A hunger for experience? An addiction to wonderment? The man who ceases to be astonished is hollow, possessed of an extinguished heart. If he believes that everything has already happened, that he has seen it all, then something most precious has died within him—the delight in life.“ Travels with Herodotus

„If the crowd disperses, goes home, does not reassemble, we say the revolution is over.“


„When man meets an obstacle he can't destroy, he destroys himself“ The Other

„Oil creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without work, life for free. Oil is a resource that anaesthetises thought, blurs vision, corrupts.“ Shah of Shahs

„Such people, while useful, even agreeable, to others, are, if truth be told, frequently unhappy–lonely in fact. Yes, they seek out others, and it may even seem to them that in a certain country or city they have managed to find true kinship and fellowship, having come to know and learn about a people; but they wake up one day and suddenly feel that nothing actually binds them to these people, that they can leave here at once. They realize that another country, some other people, have now beguiled them, and that yesterday’s most riveting event now pales and loses all meaning and significance. For all intents and purposes, they do not grow attached to anything, do not put down deep roots. Their empathy is sincere, but superficial. If asked which of the countries they have visited they like best, they are embarrassed–they do not know how to answer. Which one? In a certain sense–all of them. There is something compelling about each. To which country would they like to return once more? Again, embarrassment–they had never asked themselves such a question. The one certainty is that they would like to be back on the road, going somewhere. To be on their way again–that is the dream.“ Travels with Herodotus

„Man knows, and in the course of years he comes to know it increasingly well, feeling it ever more acutely, that memory is weak and fleeting, and if he doesn't write down what he has learned and experienced, that which he carries within him will perish when he does. This is when it seems everyone wants to write a book. Singers and football players, politicians and millionaires. And if they themselves do not know how, or else lack the time, they commission someone else to do it for them... engendering this reality is the impression of writing as a simple pursuit, though those who subscribe to that view might do well to ponder Thomas Mann's observation that, 'a writer is a man for whom writing is more difficult than it is for others“ Travels with Herodotus


„We are here among people who don't contemplate transience and the existence of the soul, the meaning of life and the nature of being. We are in a world in which man, crawling on the earth, tries to dig a few grains of wheat out of the mud just to survive another day.“ The Shadow of the Sun

„I was seized at once with a profound fascination, a burning thirst to learn, to immerse myself totally, to melt away, to become as one with this foreign universe. To know it as if I had been born and raised there, begun life there. I wanted to learn the language, I wanted to read the books, I wanted to penetrate every nook and cranny.

It was a kind of malady, a dangerous weakness, because I also realized that these civilizations are so enormous, so rich, complex, and varied, that getting to know even a fragment of one of them, a mere scrap, would require devoting one's whole life to the enterprise. Cultures are edifices with countless rooms, corridors, balconies, and attics, all arranged, furthermore, into such twisting, turning labyrinths, that if you enter one of them, there is no exit, no retreat, no turning back. To become a Hindu scholar, a Sinologist, an Arabist, or a Hebraist is a lofty all-consuming pursuit, leaving no space or time for anything else.“
Travels with Herodotus

„in reference to Persepolis and all palaces, cities and temples of the past: could these wonders have come into being without that suffering? without the overseer's whip, the slave's fear, the ruler's vanity? was not the monumentality of past epochs created by that which is negative and evil in man?“ Travels With Herodotus

„[…] I began to see Algiers as one of the most fascinating and dramatic places on earth. In the small space of this beautiful but congested city intersected two great conflicts of the contemporary world. The first was the one between Christianity and Islam (expressed here in the clash between colonizing France and colonized Algeria). The second, which acquired a sharpness of focus immediately after the independence and departure of the French, was a conflict at the very heart of Islam, between its open, dialectical — I would even say “Mediterranean” — current and its other, inward-looking one, born of a sense of uncertainty and confusion vis-à-vis the contemporary world, guided by fundamentalists who take advantage of modern technology and organizational principles yet at the same time deem the defense of faith and custom against modernity as the condition of their own existence, their sole identity.

[…] In Algiers one speaks simply of the existence of two varieties of Islam — one, which is called the Islam of the desert, and a second, which is defined as the Islam of the river (or of the sea). The first is the religion practiced by warlike nomadic tribes struggling to survive in one of the world's most hostile environments, the Sahara. The second Islam is the faith of merchants, itinerant peddlers, people of the road and of the bazaar, for whom openness, compromise, and exchange are not only beneficial to trade, but necessary to life itself.“
Travels with Herodotus

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