Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Literature by foot

Ryszard Kapuscinski, died yesterday in Warsaw, age 74.

"There is, I admit, a certain egoism, in what I write," he once said, "always complaining about the heat or the hunger or the pain I feel. But it is terribly important to have what I write authenticated by its being lived. You could call it, I suppose, personal reportage, because the author is always present. I sometimes call it literature by foot."

It's sad that it takes a death to inspire me to finally get around to an author I've been meaning to read for ages.


iwonka said...

I recently finished reading Shah of Shahs; found it remarkable how he could evoke the fear and paranoia of living in Iran at that time... and even now. I think I finally understand why my hairdresser (who is Iranian) became very quiet when I started questioning him, innocently and out of curiosity, about life in Iran. Hmmmmmm.

dark orpheus said...

I know what you mean about getting around to reading their books when the author's dead.

I feel that I really need to pick up Kapuscinski now, especially "Travels with Herodotus" which is coming out later this year.