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The Other by Ryszard Kapuściński

The Other

by Ryszard Kapuściński

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201591,842 (3.88)1
"In this distillation of reflections accumulated from a lifetime of travel, Ryszard Kapuscinski takes a fresh look at the Western idea of the Other. Looking at this concept through the lens of his own encounters in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and considering its formative significance for his own work, Kapuscinski traces how the West has understood the non-European from classical times to the present day. He observes how in the twenty-first century we continue to treat the residents of the Global South as hostile aliens, objects of study rather than full partners sharing responsibility for the fate of humankind." "In our globalised but increasingly polarised world, Kapuscinski shows how the Other remains one of the most compelling ideas of our times."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)



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English (3)  French (2)  All languages (5)
Showing 3 of 3
Il testo è breve, ma assai pregnante di riflessioni che trattano della filosofia del dialogo, di antropologia, di rispetto dell'altro-da-sè. Non in vetta ai miei interessi, ma senz'altro illuminante, con continui rimandi a pensatori e intellettuali di varie nazionalità (a me del tutto sconosciuti) . ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
A series of lectures and essays on the topic of The Other by a Polish journalist and foreign correspondent.

The Other are those living in other lands and cultures, we know of them but don't really understand them, don't know what it means to be them or how the world looks through their eyes. They are often of another race, another skin colour, another religion.

Human civilisations can react in one of three ways to encounters with the Other: fence themselves off and build walls to keep the Other out; go to war to dominate and humiliate the Other; or open dialogue and trade to learn from the Other. The author promotes the latter course but history is littered with examples of walls and barriers, wars, colonialism and apartheid. [p.73, p.81]

"We treat the Other above all as a stranger, as the representative of a separate species, but the most crucial point is that we treat him as a threat" [p.58]. This feeds nationalism, racism and xenophobia when the Other appears in our midst, and in response the Other forms a ghetto of his own.

The modern era of communication provides new challenges. The Global Village is a misnomer because "the essence of a village depends upon the fact that its inhabitants know each other well, commune with each other and share a common fate. Meanwhile nothing of the kind can be said of society on our planet, which is more like the anonymous crowd at a major airport, a crowd of people rushing along in haste, mutually indifferent and ignorant." [p.75]

In the end, we have to communicate with the Other in order to truly understand ourselves, to see ourselves reflected from the Other's perspective, and to gain an appreciation of ourselves as a self contained being, separate from another. "I know that I am, because I know another is" [p.68].

Interesting stuff. ( )
1 vote clevinger | Feb 2, 2011 |
Definitely food for thought. It's good to be reminded of how we perceive and treat "the other". Despite the topic's profound themes, this is a light read - highly engaging and absorbing. ( )
  bikiechic | Dec 21, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ryszard Kapuścińskiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ascherson, NealIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lloyd-Jones, AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patte, VéroniqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The term 'Other' or 'Others' can be understood in all sorts of ways and used in various meanings and contexts, to distinguish gener, for example, or generation, or nationality, or religion and so on."
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Conférences de Vienne (I, II, III), Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienne, 1-3 décembre 2004

Mon Autre, Colloque international des écrivains, Graz, 12 octobre 1990

L'Autre dans le village global, inauguration de l'année universitaire, École supérieure européenne Józef Tischner, Cracovie, 30 septembre 2003

Rencontre avec l'Autre - défi du XXIe siècle, nomination docteur honoris causa, université Jagielloński, Cracovie, 1er octobre 2004
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