Sometimes we just read the right book at the right time, and to everything in it we think "Yes! Exactly; I've been thinking this for a while now but couldn't put it into words. And here it is, in ink." Well this Kapuscinski book has been that way for me. Even though he writes only of his travels in Africa, at times I feel like he could be writing about Guatemala. If nothing else, this book has further solidified my goal to make it to Africa.
"Our world, seemingly global, is in reality a planet of thousands of the most varied and never intersecting provinces. A trip around the world is a journey from backwater to backwater, each of which considers itself, in its isolation, a shining star. For most people, the real world ends on the threshold of their house, at the edge of their village, or, at the very most, on the border of their valley. That which is beyond is unreal, unimportant, and even useless, whereas that which we have at our fingertips, in our field of vision, expands until it seems an entire universe, overshadowing all else. Often, the native and the newcomer have difficulty finding a common language, because each looks at the same place through a different lens. The newcomer has a wide-angle lens, which gives him a distant, diminished view, although one with a long horizon line, while the local always employs a telescopic lens that magnifies the slightest detail." --Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Shadow of the Sun: My African Life
Dreams of a Beached Cow
4 years ago