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Jeszcze dzień życia

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Ts where using the wrong shibboleth was a matter of life and death; recording his imporessions of the young soldiers from Cuba Angola South Africa Portugal fighting a nebulous war with global repercussions; and examining the peculiar brutality of a country surprised and divided by its newfound freedomTranslated from the Polish by William R Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska Brand Normally Kapuscinski doesn't stick to a single event across a book but here as in The Emperor he documents with precision the downfall of a regime And this is twice the account that The Emperor is infinitely hallucinatory describing the insanity and fragmentation that accompanied the fall of one of Europe's last colonial projects in Africa a poor and unstable country that had long been run by another poor and unstable country before becoming the setting of one of the ugliest proxy conflicts of the Cold War Some of Kapuscinski's finest work I've read yet

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In 1975 Angola was tumbling into pandemonium; everyone who could was packing crates desperate to abandon the beleaguered colony With his trademark bravura Ryszard Kapuscinski went the other way begging his way from Lisbon and comfort to Luanda once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro and chaosAngola a slave colony later given over to mining and plantations was a promised land for Review em português followed by review in EnglishEM PORTUGUÊS Situado na Angola desgarrada pela guerra nos meses prévios à declaração da independência isto é também parte da história de Portugal do imenso êxodo de meio milhão de Portugueses e dos ue lá ficaram e decidiram abraçar a nova nacionalidade E tudo com o selo característico do sempre interessante KapuścińskiIN ENGLISH Set in a chaotic and war torn Angola during the three months previous to the declaration of independence this is also part of the history of Portugal The read is easy even to those not acuainted with the specifities of that African country and full of interest 青春攻略本 第1巻 [Seishun Kouryakuhon, Vol. 01] (Manual to Teenage Life, other way begging his way from Lisbon and comfort to Luanda Lilac Hill once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro and chaosAngola a slave colony later given My Prince over to mining and plantations was a promised land for Review em português followed by review in EnglishEM PORTUGUÊS Situado na Angola desgarrada pela guerra nos meses prévios à declaração da independência isto é também parte da história de Portugal do imenso êxodo de meio milhão de Portugueses e dos ue lá ficaram e decidiram abraçar a nova nacionalidade E tudo com Ike o selo característico do sempre interessante KapuścińskiIN ENGLISH Set in a chaotic and war torn Angola during the three months previous to the declaration Haunted of independence this is also part Flower In The Palace of the history Star-Spider Speaks of Portugal The read is easy even to those not acuainted with the specifities The Jacobins Daughter of that African country and full Mermen (The Mermen Trilogy, of interest

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Generations of poor Portuguese It had belonged to Portugal since before there were English speakers in North America After the collapse of the fascist dictatorship in Portugal in 1974 Angola was brusuely cut loose spurring the catastrophe of a still ongoing civil war Kapuscinski plunged right into the middle of the drama driving past thousands of haphazardly placed check poin Beautiful writing and I'm sure also great translationThis is a very sad story that can tear you up The next prisoner looks twelve he says he's sixteen He knows it is shameful to fight for the FNLA but they told him that if he went to the front they would send him to school afterward he wants to finish school because he wants to paint if he could get paper and a pencil he could draw something right now He could do a portrait he also knows how to sculpt and would like to show his sculptures which he left in Carmona he has put his whole life into it and would like to study and they told him that he will if he goes to the front first he knows how it works in order to paint you ust first kill people but he hasn't killed anyoneAnd so I criedThis is one of the reasons why I hardly complain about the state of my nation It's bad but as long as one is alive it's alright This book brings back some similar emotions I had after reading The Poisonwood Bible I felt so hopeless and so desperate Where is the light out of this


10 thoughts on “Jeszcze dzień życia

  1. says:

    I never thought a Polish journalist's first hand account of civil war in Angola in the 1970s would be so beautifully written that I'd wake up in the night turn the light on and have to finish the book but it had me gripped like that Am now an utter convert to Kapuscinski's writing about Africa Astonishing


  2. says:

    Another Day of Life is beautiful surreal and tragic reportage from Angola at the bloody birth of that nation that is also imbued with a non grating sense of something close to whimsy The country dropped as a colony by the fleeing Portuguese is torn between three armies and their allies fighting a proxy war Cuba Zairenow DRC South Africa Filled with wonderful described moments and written with sense of atmosphere and perfect details The fine moments are almost too many to point out and cruel spoilage for future readers to describe but the crate city the migratory pack of forgotten dogs the culture of checkpoints the survival of city depending on the one man who knows how to repair the water pumps and the discussions on what constitutes a “front” in the war are some of particular favorite ones of mine This reads closer to a novel or poetry some people uestion Kapuscinski’s truth than war reportage and it earns comparison to Hemingway Calvino Kafka Hunter s Thompson and Robert Stone That disparate list should showcase the beauty power and uniueness of Kapuscinski’s vision and style Truth of not Another Day of Life is a powerful piece on a forgotten war and a forgotten country


  3. says:

    Review em português followed by review in EnglishEM PORTUGUÊS Situado na Angola desgarrada pela guerra nos meses prévios à declaração da independência isto é também parte da história de Portugal do imenso êxodo de meio milhão de Portugueses e dos ue lá ficaram e decidiram abraçar a nova nacionalidade E tudo com o selo característico do sempre interessante KapuścińskiIN ENGLISH Set in a chaotic and war torn Angola during the three months previous to the declaration of independence this is also part of the history of Portugal The read is easy even to those not acuainted with the specifities of that African country and full of interest


  4. says:

    For a Cuban who arrives in Angola neither the climate nor the landscape nor the food are strange For a Brazilian even the language is the sameAnother Day is erratic passages of tedium and sorrow punctuated by violence There is a gnawing post colonial fear that the natives are going to correct the historical damage When is the last plane back to Europe? A parallel city of crates is built all the while every ear is poised listening for artillery as the rebels make their way to Luanda Forget the capitol Angola is a thirsty country No one fights in the heat of the day They take off on weekends as well The author reports his dispatches to Warsaw The world waits even as the Portuguese pack all the kitsch which constituted their lives and haul it to the airport There are many ellipses in this book There is also death and significantly fear Terror appears to be the operating principle The chronology at the book's end is dispassionate even if the conseuences were so damning


  5. says:

    I first read this about 25 years ago along with Ryszard Kapuściński’s other books At the time it was my favourite of his and it didn’t disappoint on re readingAs the blurb states Kapuściński described this as “a very personal book about being alone and lost” and that is part of why this book is such a moving read In 1975 he was the sole foreign correspondent of the official Polish press agency He went to Angola to cover the lead up to the country’s independence and the accompanying civil war involving the pro Soviet MPLA and two pro Western factions The book is divided into 3 main parts In the first Kapuściński describes the Portuguese exodus from Luanda and about trying to live in a city that no longer has any police doctors pharmacists firemen garbage collectors or anyone else to allow the city to function He does so with astonishing vividness In the second he describes being at the front with MPLA troops“the image of war is not communicable – not by the pen or the voice or the camera War is a reality only to those stuck in its bloody dreadful filthy insides”True enough I’m sure but I think Kapuściński gets as close to it as anyone through a series of beautifully observed individual incidents that on both readings left me in a deeply reflective mood In the third section the author is back in Luanda now post independence trying to be a journalist and make sense of a war that has expanded to include South African and Cuban troops He uses copies of his telex messages at the time to convey the drama and tension of being in a city under siege If you haven’t read Kapuściński before his books are a uniue mix of history reportage politics and some of the sharpest observation you will encounter in any non fiction The amateur reviewer that I am can’t do justice to his books I can only recommend that you read them and this one most of all


  6. says:

    Beautiful writing and I'm sure also great translationThis is a very sad story that can tear you up The next prisoner looks twelve he says he's sixteen He knows it is shameful to fight for the FNLA but they told him that if he went to the front they would send him to school afterward he wants to finish school because he wants to paint if he could get paper and a pencil he could draw something right now He could do a portrait he also knows how to sculpt and would like to show his sculptures which he left in Carmona he has put his whole life into it and would like to study and they told him that he will if he goes to the front first he knows how it works in order to paint you ust first kill people but he hasn't killed anyoneAnd so I criedThis is one of the reasons why I hardly complain about the state of my nation It's bad but as long as one is alive it's alright This book brings back some similar emotions I had after reading The Poisonwood Bible I felt so hopeless and so desperate Where is the light out of this?


  7. says:

    Impressionistic account of the last days of Portuguese rule in the last European colony in Africa Kapuściński was in Luanda the capital and traveled around territory controlled often temporarily by the MPLA the liberation movement that was supported by the USSR and Cuba As a Warsaw Pact journalist his accreditation if not his sympathies were to them The MPLA was at war with UNITA in the north which was supported by Mobutu's Zaire and therefor by the US and France which funded Mobutu for decades In south were the forces of the FNLA which an invasion of ard troops from South Africa helped to stiffen There was at least one pitched battle between Cuban and South African regular troops Kapuściński has amazing descriptions in several set pieces One on the rapid decay of Luanda as the Portuguese box up their homes abandon their pets and head for the airport The European uarter stays empty and deserted everyone has left but the Angolans haven't moved in Another is a terrifying ride to the south from Luanda into the sparsely populated desert to the MPLA outpost in Benguala There was only one road between the two cities according to Google Earth that is still the case and the surrounding hinterlands were the domain of mobile FNLA troops who could set ambushes at any spot along the hundreds of miles of road In the last chapter includes telex messages between Kapuściński and his editor in Warsaw which describe the final defense of the capital interspersed with reuests from Kapuscinski for money and cigarettes cigarettes are coin of the realm in negotiating passage through checkpoints and from his editor asking if he wants a plane sent to him to get him out before the capital is overrun Kapuściński is an incredibly fluent writer and the translator here has done an excellent job


  8. says:

    Normally Kapuscinski doesn't stick to a single event across a book but here as in The Emperor he documents with precision the downfall of a regime And this is twice the account that The Emperor is infinitely hallucinatory describing the insanity and fragmentation that accompanied the fall of one of Europe's last colonial projects in Africa a poor and unstable country that had long been run by another poor and unstable country before becoming the setting of one of the ugliest proxy conflicts of the Cold War Some of Kapuscinski's finest work I've read yet


  9. says:

    A few years ago I listened in awe to an excerpt from 'Another Day of Life' on an Italian online radio focused on books As those pages revolving around a sieged Luanda were beautiful and poignant I got interested in adding up another Kapuscinski to my increasing lot Then I moved abroad and as I had read all of my Kapuscinskis in Italian translation purchasing one of his books in English didn't seem uite right Back to Italy for a stopover inbetween the UK and Poland I've finally bought the long awaited book and promptly started to read itNow that I'm done with 'Another Day of Life' I must confess that I'm slightly disappointed by it Unlike what happens in most of the reportage books by Kapuscinski here I felt like something crucial was missing clarityThe reasons and the main forces behind the Civil War following a long Independence War in Angola the great Polish reporter followed and lived in during the 1970s are to say the least blurred and confusing for the readers of today In this respect I feel very much like your average Mr Brown Kowalski Rossi here I know where Angola is I know the country used to be a Portuguese 'colony' and that was shamelessly used for centuries as a slave market I've even heard that Luanda today is one of the most expensive cities in the world with the greatest gap you can imagine between wealthy nababs and poor locals A Portuguese friend of mine told me that to many unemployed compatriots of his Angola looks like the promised land an Eldorado of easy and often dirty money This way scores of Portuguese people migrated to the former colony looking for a job they cannot find at home So much for the ups and downs of historyThis is what an average reader buying 'Another Day of Life' by Kapuscinski might already know about Angola The problem is that chances are the same Mr Brown Kowalski Rossi doesn't know anything at all about Angola between the 1960s and the 1970s That's why I would have liked explanations from dear old Ryszard concerning the purpose of and the difference between combatants belonging to MPLA UNITA FNLA and FLEC Unluckily Kapuscinsky unlike what he did when writing about say Rwanda or Iran relies too much on what his readers know about the whole bloody conflict in this bookThat's why I struggled with some parts of this book especially those in which the reporter goes to 'the front' where he meets up with Cuban soldiers dispatched to Angola by the Castro regime to give military support to one of the sides involved and faces South African forces deployed there for the same reason This criticism of mine doesn't affect the fact that Kapuscinski is always fantastic to read and that the pages about life in Luanda are magnificent and cliffhanging There is also an interesting and heartbraking insight on a supposedly minor character like the young female soldier Carlotta whose death makes the Polish reporter wonder about the foolishness of a war where there cannot ultimately be any actual winner


  10. says:

    Another Day of Life is a very well written account of very important but seldom remembered conflict in Angola that was really a war of ideology filled with warrior poets opportunists revolutionaries and sell outs It recalls the enormous potential of of post colonial africa without shying away from its practical failure What Kapuscinski lacks is a in depth examination of the relationships in the conflict The subtle themes are there but he could have gone further Of particular interest was the MPLA's multi racial make up at a time when African leaders were using ethnic chauvinism to drive there policy The MPLA was a Marxist outfit that won favor with the people However Western subversion empowered a daunting assault on the People's Republic of Angola This book could have been rewritten all across the African Continent


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