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Ebene by Ryszard Kapuscinski
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Ebene (original 1998; edition 2002)

by Ryszard Kapuscinski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,302356,009 (4.23)65
Member:Serviette
Title:Ebene
Authors:Ryszard Kapuscinski
Info:Pocket (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Afrique, récit, guerre, autobiographie, voyage, journalisme

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The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuściński (1998)

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» See also 65 mentions

English (27)  Spanish (5)  Greek (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Una mirada a l'Àfrica molt interessant, explicant diferents conflictes viscuts en primera persona, en països diferents. Procesos d'independència. Canvis de règim.. una aproximació a la complexitat i a la forma de veure les coses. La difícultat de solucionar els problemes de l'Àfrica.

( )
  gatxanshan | May 18, 2013 |
Como Kapuściński diz no prefácio, a África não existe, a não ser em um sentido geográfico. Infelizmente, para muitos leitores ela também existe como estereótipo, como um lugar exótico e atrasado.
Ébano - que pode ser lido como um conjunto de ensaios ou como um romance - não tenta falar do imenso continente com preconceito ou com idealismo. Kapuściński nos explica a situação de Ruanda, vê o vídeo da tortura do ex-presidente da Libéria, mora na periferia de uma cidade em Gana (evitando o bairro europeu), vai em vilas pequenas, perde-se no deserto. E ele não se prende aos golpes de estado e guerras, contando com o mesmo interesse um costume local. Em um capítulo, ele fala das feridas do imperialismo na África que quer independência, mostra como os novos dirigentes não querem mudar o sistema, mas ter os privilégios dos funcionários europeus, e como os negros trazidos dos EUA para a Libéria reproduziram o modelo escravista do sul no país africano. No próximo capítulo ele contará sobre um homem que encontrou, que vaga pela África ignorando fronteiras, à procura do irmão, ou sobre a menina que divide entre um grupo de crianças uma única bala.
Em resumo, interessantíssimo e bem escrito. Uma leitura excelente. ( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is a collection of essays from a foreign correspondent's experiences and perspectives in many African countries from the initial days of independence through the 90's and all the changes that he witnessed over 40 years. I enjoyed Ryszard Kapuściński's descriptions of the landscapes, historical events, travel tales and international politics that are scattered through this book of essays primarily about the colorful people he encountered all over the continent. ( )
  B.Mayaluna | Mar 25, 2012 |
Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski spent a lot of time in Central Africa over the course of 40 years. He saw the end of colonialism as country after country declared independence, and the ensuing rise of the African warlords.

The Shadow Of The Sun is presented as a series of connected vignettes on Africa. 15 countries are covered in detail, with brief glimpses offered on life in several more regions. Kapuscinski explains the varying cultural, spiritual and religious traditions, differences in everyday life in the various African environments, the city versus country lifestyle, tribal allegiances and feuds, and of course the poverty.

This is an extremely interesting book, well written, informative and filled with insight. It offers a great mix of journalistic reporting, personal observation and lyrical description which is very readable.

There were three chapters that I found particularly interesting. The chapter on Liberia describes how freed slaves from America were returned to the African continent where they promptly enslaved the local tribes’ people and began imitating the behaviour of the Americans and British who had enslaved them. The irony is awful. The historical grievances between the Hutu and Tutsi people were explained, giving me a greater understanding of the origins of the Rwandan massacres which took place in the early 90’s. And the early chapter on the Zanzibar coup highlights the ingenuity of journalists on the hunt for a story, and when they try to leave the island they get themselves into ridiculous trouble.

I did have some problems following the chronology of the book; I could only loosely keep track of the timeline based on the dates of some events mentioned that I had some prior knowledge of. And while I knew which countries most of the capital cities belonged to, there were a number of occasions where a smaller town was the reference point and it was several pages before I worked out which country the vignette was set in. These issues could have been easily cleared up by including a quick heading, or something similar, at the beginning of each chapter.

This is a fantastic read where the huge diversity in Africa is emphasized, but it’s also heartbreaking. The overwhelming prevalence of poverty, the child soldiers and endless tribal feuding and civil wars (and some African ideas on revenge are telling) make some passages difficult to comprehend.

The Shadow Of The Sun combines African history and politics with anthropological topics and Kapuscinski’s personal adventures in one memorable, eye opening book. ( )
  SouthernKiwi | Jul 21, 2011 |
A series of 'reportage' essays by a Polish reporter who spent a large part of 40 years in Africa, starting in 1958. The essays range around the centre of the continent (the north African, Mediterranean countries are not discussed, ditto South Africa), often sketches of everyday life and the experience of being in Africa and travelling from place to place, but also including his experience of political storms - of Idi Amin, Rwanda, and Liberia.

This is a brilliant book. Absolutely fascinating and informative as well as entertaining - some of the scenes are as dramatic as anything I've read in fiction or non (one decidedly terrifying encounter with a cobra in particular), others are interesting vignettes about life in lands very different from my own. His writing is great (in translation) and the whole thing is a real pleasure to read.

Only one thing prevents me giving this all five stars. Some reading around this book (his wiki page, obituaries from when he died in 2007 etc) - Kapuściński is clearly a controversial figure, partly for reasons that, while important, are not really relevant to this book (his supposed collaboration with the Polish communist government) and perhaps a touch unfair (many African writers seem to dislike his 'European' view of their continent...but he is European, and that's the way he sees it, right or wrong). A significant issue, however, are accusations that some of his stories might be embellished, or some outright invented. None of the stories in this book are mentioned in the accusations I've read, but it is a big proviso in a book posing as reportage. Probably not coincidentally, a lot of the charges seem to have been made since Kapuściński died, and without him here to defend himself, it's hard to give a definitive verdict.

Approached with the proviso in mind that some of the tales might be a little taller in the telling than in real life, however, I really can't recommend this enough - incredibly enjoyable. ( )
  roblong | Jul 8, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
As literature, “The Shadow of the Sun” is in its way magnificent. As analysis, it can be strange. Mr Kapuscinski's account of Idi Amin's rule is inaccurate and his history of Rwanda is botched. Mysteriously, he travels from Djibouti to Gondar by way of Ndjamena: two sides of a huge triangle. Mr Kapuscinski tells it as it felt, rather than as it was, describing—sometimes, it seems, distastefully relishing—whatever is bizarre, humiliating, disgusting, exotic.
added by Serviette | editThe Economist (Jun 28, 2001)
 
The word 'reportage' appears twice in the jacket endorsements of this fine narrative study of African events and people, of African conditions and geography, by Ryszard Kapuscinski. According to John le Carré, Kapuscinski is the 'conjurer extraordinary of modern reportage'. According to Michael Ignatieff, who is no slouch in the same department, he has raised reportage 'to the status of literature'.
added by Serviette | editThe Guardian, Ian Jack (Jun 3, 2001)
 
He is lyrically succinct - in the stupor of noon a village was "like a submarine at the bottom of the ocean: it was there, but it emitted no signals, soundless, motionless" - and often hysterically funny.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Geoff Dyer (Jun 2, 2001)
 
Ryszard Kapuscinski has led an extraordinary life. Born in 1932 in the marshlands of eastern Poland and raised in poverty, he became, in the 1950's, Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent. For decades he roamed the globe on a laughably tight budget, living mostly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, filing stories for the Polish press agency PAP. It was a hairy beat. According to his American publisher, Kapuscinski ''witnessed 27 coups and revolutions; and was sentenced to death four times.''
 
Mr. Kapuscinski never loses his affection for the people whose lives he witnesses or his awe at the magnificence of the African spectacle, its oceanic size and variety, the beauty of its landscapes, the heavy weight of its patience and its spirituality. But as the vignettes roll on one after the other, Africa, in Mr. Kapuscinski's version of it, becomes ever more afflicted, more of a disaster. We do not learn in this book what happened in Ghana after the first hopeful years, or what became of Mr. Baako, but in his fragmentary, episodic way, Mr. Kapuscinski shows a continent sliding into governmental gangsterism, dependence on foreign aid, murderous tyrannies and urban populations with nothing to do.
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ryszard Kapuścińskiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Glowczewska, KlaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679779078, Paperback)

When Africa makes international news, it is usually because war has broken out or some bizarre natural disaster has taken a large number of lives. Westerners are appallingly ignorant of Africa otherwise, a condition that the great Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuœciñski helps remedy with this book based on observations gathered over more than four decades.

Kapuœciñski first went to Africa in 1957, a time pregnant with possibilities as one country after another declared independence from the European colonial powers. Those powers, he writes, had "crammed the approximately ten thousand kingdoms, federations, and stateless but independent tribal associations that existed on this continent in the middle of the nineteenth century within the borders of barely forty colonies." When independence came, old interethnic rivalries, long suppressed, bubbled up to the surface, and the continent was consumed in little wars of obscure origin, from caste-based massacres in Rwanda and ideological conflicts in Ethiopia to hit-and-run skirmishes among Tuaregs and Bantus on the edge of the Sahara. With independence, too, came the warlords, whose power across the continent derives from the control of food, water, and other life-and-death resources, and whose struggles among one another fuel the continent's seemingly endless civil wars. When the warlords "decide that everything worthy of plunder has been extracted," Kapuœciñski writes, wearily, they call a peace conference and are rewarded with credits and loans from the First World, which makes them richer and more powerful than ever, "because you can get significantly more from the World Bank than from your own starving kinsmen."

Constantly surprising and eye-opening, Kapuœciñski's book teaches us much about contemporary events and recent history in Africa. It is also further evidence for why he is considered to be one of the best journalists at work today. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Kapu?ci?ski, a Polish reporter, writes about his experiences in Africa during the latter half of the 20th century.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140292624, 0141037709

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