In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Political Linkage | Main | McWhorter on Language »

January 25, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I was sorry to learn (thanks to ALD) that the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski has died at the age of 74. A foreign correspondent with a knack for showing up in trouble spots -- he witnessed 30 coups, uprisings, and revolutions -- Kapuscinski wrote nonfiction books of a kind unfamiliar to most Americans. Neither of the "objective" sort nor of the New Journalism genre, they're a kind of hybrid of poetry and journalism. They remind me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's journalism, and of some of Oliver Sacks' writing too. Despite being based in fact, they're evocative and suggestive -- intense fairy tales for adults -- and they can really make the mind and the imagination take flight. "Everything is a metaphor," he was once quoted as saying.

"It's not that the story is not getting expressed. It's what surrounds the story. The climate, the atmosphere of the street, the feeling of the people, the gossip of the town; the smell; the thousands and thousands of elements that are part of the events you read about in 600 words of your morning paper."

"Shah of Shahs," "The Emperor," and "The Soccer War" were very high on my list of favorites from the years I spent following contemporary writing. I wrote a posting about Kapuscinski here. ALD links to obits and reminiscences from The Guardian, the WashPost, the NYTimes, and others. A standout is this obit from the London Times.



posted by Michael at January 25, 2007


Evidently, he made shit up.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on January 27, 2007 4:50 PM

So, he's another Bruce Chatwin, is he?

Posted by: Intellectual Pariah on January 27, 2007 11:10 PM

Yeah, he's been suspected of embroidering for a long time, and I think it makes a lot more sense to take his books as literary experiences than as journalistic ones. That said, I've run into some journos who have covered the same places and events that he did and they revere him. So I assume that he can be trusted on tone, atmosphere, subtext -- all that not-too-specific stuff.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 27, 2007 11:50 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?