Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kapuscinski's I Wrote Stone & the L.A. Times

An article about Ryszard Kapuscinski's I Wrote Stone appeared on the LA Time's Book Blog yesterday. The whole thing can be read here:

Here's an excerpt:

Although there was much fanfare around the appearance of Kapuściński's final book, "Travels With Herodotus," which was published not long after his death, it's disappointing that "I Wrote Stone," now published in English for the first time by Biblioasis, has come out with not so much as a single trumpet sounding.Stone

Translated by Diana Kuprel and Marek Kusiba, this slim volume gathers poetry Kapuściński wrote over 40 years. Slim, yes, but hardly insubstantial.

Big events -- such as the murder of the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba -- may have been treated lyrically in his prose, but Kapuściński's translators note that he believed poetry could "illuminate dimensions of human experience that otherwise would remain unknowable." These poems capture the moments between crises, impressions that carry a book-length argument in a few lines. ... I Wrote Stone shows us a chronicler of chaos in one of those moments when he has turned off his journalistic processes and given himself up to something else.

This follows last week's publication of the poem In Lieu of a Prayer in the Guardian (where it may soon be reviewed). Finally we seem to be getting somewhere.

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