Magazine article Geographical

Nobody Leaves: Impressions of Poland

Magazine article Geographical

Nobody Leaves: Impressions of Poland

Article excerpt

NOBODY LEAVES: Impressions of Poland by Ryszard Kapuscinski; Penguin Classics; [pounds sterling]10.99 (paperback)

Ryszard Kapuscinski was a journalist who was dangerously good at his job. Detained 40 times and escaping a death sentence four times, he wrote inflammatory but incandescent dispatches from conflicts across the world.

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Between foreign assignments he wrote short essays about his homeland. Nobody Leaves is a collection of 17 of these, each a deft vignette about a forgotten corner of the nation. Some create a sordid picture, such as An Advertisement for Toothpaste, where the materialistic town of Pratki 'dances to the newest, dazzling hits, stocks up on televisions, purchases electric sewing machines and Master Picasso curtains' - but still hasn't learnt to brush its teeth. Others are more charming, such as Far Away where he describes how the village of Cisowka built its own train station in order to get a railway: 'There are few train stops like this. …

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