Kapuscinski – student to the Father of History

It’s all rather surprising to note the outrage that is evident in much of the UK national press following Artur Domoslawski’s recent effort, as evidenced in The Guardian and Independent

Anyone who was given the gift of Herodotus before embarking on their career as a foreign correspondent, and then lets the reader know, is clearly tipping a wink to those in the know…I like to think of it is a sort of cheeky nod to the reader, suggesting that like the great man of Miletus, the spirit of the writing is true thought the facts maybe not.

Herodotus wrote to inform, but also entertain, and Kapuscinski from limited reading of the man did much the same. These works are designed to perk the interest of the reader, and send them off to make their own investigations should interest be perked enough. Fiction may abound in both authors, but this is largely fiction in good faith – introducing cultures foreign and strange to an audience which would normally have no contact with the subject at hand.

Criticism has been levelled at both authors that each had an agenda – one pro the Hellenic world and the other for the cause of Communism. Hardly surprising really, but what comes through the writings of both is the understanding that the cultures and customs they describe are not there for judgement as being better or worse – rather different, and these works to my mind ultimately celebrate the diversity and excitement we are to find in this jolly green, blue, yellow and grey planet of ours…

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