His last journey

Reading obituaries for the late Ryszard Kapuściński reminded me of the one book of his that I've read: Meine Reisen mit Herodot (Travels with Herodotus, which is not yet available in English, it seems).

Kapuściński tells stories of his many trips to Asia and Africa as a foreign correspondent, starting in the 1950s. In a wonderful illustration for the synchrony of the asynchronous (Ernst Bloch), he juxtaposes those stories with his reading of the reports of the first known "modern" historian, namely Herodotus. His colleague's method of 24 centuries back was to collect stories and memories of past times on his long journeys all over the known world, and to record them faithfully - just the way Kapuściński does. In both streams of narrative, there is at least one common denominator: humanity.

Writing this, I note that I seem to have taken to travel literature of sorts lately. While Pamuk's Istanbul admittedly stays in one place, it recalls that place's journey through time. The Art of Travel on the other hand may be categorised quite unequivocally. But there is even more in the To Read pile of books ... so I guess that commits my travelling firmly to the armchair variety. Which is of course much more environmentally friendly than any other kind of trip.

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