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Imperium por Ryszard Kapuscinski
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Imperium (original 1993; edição 1995)

por Ryszard Kapuscinski

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9262117,269 (4.27)43
'The most passionate, engaging and historically profound account of the Soviet empire that I have read.' - Michael Ignatieff
Membro:addressunknown
Título:Imperium
Autores:Ryszard Kapuscinski
Informação:Vintage (1995), Edition: 1st Vintage International Ed, Paperback, 352 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
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Imperium por Ryszard Kapuściński (1993)

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> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Kapuscinski-Imperium/83177

> Critiques Libres : http://www.critiqueslibres.com/i.php/vcrit/7412

> Le monde selon Ryszard Kapuściński, par Olga Stanisławska, le 28 décembre 2015. … ; (en ligne),
URL : https://laviedesidees.fr/Le-monde-selon-Ryszard-Kapuscinski.html

> BIBLIOGRAPHIE
1984 : Le Négus, Flammarion, traduit par Évelyne Pieiller (à partir de l’anglais) ;
1986 : Le Shah, Flammarion, traduit par Dennis Collins (à partir de l’anglais) ;
1988 : D’une guerre l’autre, Flammarion, traduit par Dennis Collins (à partir de l’anglais, tous les ouvrages suivants sont traduits du polonais) ;
1994 : Imperium, Plon (10/18 1999), traduit par Véronique Patte ;
2000 : Ébène. Aventures africaines, Plon (Pocket 2002), traduit par Véronique Patte, Meilleur livre de l’année de la revue Lire (2000), Prix Tropiques
(2001) ;
2003 : La guerre du foot, Plon (Pocket 2004), traduit par Véronique Patte ;
2006 : Mes voyages avec Hérodote, Plon (Pocket 2008), traduit par Véronique Patte ;
2008 : Autoportrait d’un reporter, Plon (Flammarion, « Étonnants classiques » 2010), traduit par Véronique Patte ;
2009 : Cet autre, Plon, traduit par Véronique Patte ;
2010 : Le Négus, Flammarion (édition poche Champs Histoire 2011), traduit par Véronique Patte ;
  Joop-le-philosophe | May 22, 2021 |
Imperium isn't merely a travel narrative; such would ignore its vitality as palimpsest. It traverses the same roads again and again over time, it returns to immense crime scenes and it ponders a policy of ecological suicide. The book was published in 1994 just before a number of the text's issues came to boil: the two Chechen Wars. There are whispers of the rise of the oligarchs and somewhere lurking is in the frozen mist is Putin. Kapuściński has penned an amazing account of an empire. He often suffers the human failing of bullshit philosophy and guessing wrong about an inchoate state of affairs.

Stalin's chessboard left nascent atrocities across Central Asis. The author notes that dissent could've been crushed with death camps and mobile killing units, but then there would be a culpable element. Famine and cold spread the blame around. There is a sting of commiseration at the book's conclusion. I felt the stab of such as well.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Writings from the master of reportage, this time within the Soviet empire. ( )
1 vote soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
In many ways, this book feels just as autobiographical in its insights as it's political revelations dating far enough back to delve into the psychotic cruelty of Stalin for instance. It's a journey into learning by an adventurer who is clearly looking for something, some tie between all the human suffering throughout history wherever it may take place, though this book focuses on the Soviet Union and it's disintegration. This is one of those rich with imagery sort of novels that seems as profoundly imaginative as any nonfiction work could possibly be.

Rarely, is a book just as depressing as it is enlightening.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from it. (The first quote is by far the longest but perhaps will always be the longest lasting image to me.)

p.16 "One day Orion told me that on Zawalna they were supposed to be selling candy and, if I wanted to, we could go stand in line together. It was a beautiful gesture, him telling me about this candy, for we had stopped dreaming of sweets long ago. Mother gave me permission and we went to Zawalna Street. It was dark and snow was falling. In front of the shop, there was already a long line of children, stretching the lengths of several houses. The shop was closed with wooden shutters. The children at the head of the line said that it wouldn't open until tomorrow and that one had to stand here all night. Distressed, we returned to our place at the end of the queue. But new children were arriving continually; the line grew into infinity.

It became even colder than it had been during the day, the frost sharp, piercing, biting. As the minutes passed,then the hours, it was increasingly difficult to stand. I had had for some time very painful abscesses on my burning, swollen with pus. Now the icy cold made the pain unbearable. I moaned with every movement.

Meantime one fragment of the line after another would break away and scatter over the snowy, frozen street. To warm themselves, the children played tag. They tussled, wrestles, rolled in the white powder. Then they returned to the line, and the next group would sally forth, yelling. A delicious luxuriant flame burst out. One by one we took turns beside it so as to warm our hands if only for a moment. The faces of the children who managed to push their way to the fire reflected a golden glow. In this glow their faces thawed, flush with warmth. Thus warmed, they returned to their places and passed on to us, still standing in line, the rays of their heat.

Toward morning sleep overcame the line. Warnings about how one shouldn't sleep in freezing temperatures, for that means death were of no use. No one had the strength anymore to look for firewood or play our game, the square circle. The col pierced through to the bone, cruel, crackling. Hands and feet went nub. To save ourselves, to last the night, we stood in line huddled tightly together, one close upon the other. Despite the chain in which we locked fiercely and desperately together, all remaining warmth was escaping. The snow was burying us more and more, blanketing us with a white, soft sheepskin.

In the morning darkness, two women wrapped in thick scarves arrived and started to open the shop. The line sprang to life. We dreamed marzipan princesses and gingerbread pages. Our imagination was afire; everything in it sparkled, radiated. Finally the doors of the shop opened and the line moved. Everyone was pushing so as to warm himself and get to the front. But in the shop there was neither candy nor chocolate palaces. The women were selling empty fruit candy tines. One for each. They were round, large cans, their sides painted with colorful, cocky roosters and an inscription in Polish-E. WEDEL.

At first we were extremely disappointed and depressed. Orion was crying. But when we began to inspect our loot more closely, we slowly cheered up. On the inside walls of these cans there remained after the candy a sweet deposit, fine, multicolored chips, a thick residue smelling of fruit. Why, our mothers could boil some waters in these cans and offer us a sweet, aromatic drink!"

p.33 "If there exists such a thing a the genius of a nation, then the genius of the Russian nation is expressed in, among other things, just this saying: "Well, that's life!"

p.49-50 "Vanquished in the field of arms, Armenia seeks salvation in the scriptoria. It is a retreat, but in this withdrawal there is dignity and a will to live. What is a scriptorium? It can be a cell, sometimes a room in a clay cottage, even a cave in the rocks. In such a scriptorium is a writing desk, and behind it stands a copyist, writing. Armenian consciousness was always infused with a sense of impending ruin. And by the fervent concomitant desire for rescue. The desire to save one's world. Since it cannot be saved with the sword, let its memory be preserved. The ship will sink, but let the captain's log remain...They translated everything that was within reach. They reminded me in this of the Japanese, who translate wholesale whatever comes their way."

p.104 "Let us remember the date, for it is relevant: June 1933. June 1933 was one of those months when the fields and roads of the Ukraine were strewn with tens of thousands of corpses of people who had perished from hunger, and when there were incidents today coming to light) of women, crazed with hunger and no longer cognizant of their actions, eating their own children. Moreover, they were dying of hunger not only in the Ukraine. They were dying also in the Volga region and in Siberia, in the Urals and by the White Sea.

Yes, and all this was taking place simultaneously-the demolishing of the temple, the millions of people starving to death, the palace that was to eclipse America, and the cannibalism of those unfortunate mothers."

p.127 (Regarding the former USSR) "And so everybody and anybody is arming himself and sharpening hi sword. It is easier in this country to get a pistol and a grenade than a shirt or a cap. That is why so many armies and divisions roam the roads., why it is difficult to tell who is who, what he is after,what he is fighting for. The formula of the pretender to power is being revived, typical in times of chaos and confusion. All manner of commanders, leaders, restorers, saviors, appear and disappear."

p.148 "I am given a key, and I run to my room. Bit have barely walked in when I run out again even quicker: the window is not only wide open, but its frame is encased in a thic, massive layer o ice. Shutting it is out of the question. I rush to the chambermaid with this dismal news. She isn't the least surprised. "That's what our windows are like." She tries to calm me down; she doesn't want me to get excited. What can you do, that's life, that's what the windows are like in the Hotel Vorkuta."

p.160-161 "I walk around dark, cold, and snow covered Vorkuta. At the end of the main street one can see oblong, flat buildings on the horizon-those are the barracks of the old camps. An these two aged woman at the bis stop? Which one of them was a camp inmate, and which one was her overseer? Age and poverty equalize them for now; soon the frozen earth will reconcile them finally and forever. I wade through snowdrifts, passing identical-looking streets and houses, no longer knowing very well where I am. The whole time I have before my eyes the vision of Nikolai Fiodorov.

Fiodorov was a philosopher, a visionary; many Russians consider him a saint. He owned nothing his whole life. Not even a coat in the cold Russian climate. He was a librarian in Moscow. He lived in a little room, slept on a hard chest, placed books and pillows over his head. He lived from 1828 until 1903. He walked everywhere. He died because there was a great frost and someone convinced that perhaps h should after all put on a sheepskin coat and go in a sleigh. The next day he developed pneumonia and died.

"On one of the streets I noticed a wooden booth. A swarthy Azerbaijani was selling the only flowers one could buy here-red carnations. "Pick out for me, " I said, "the prettiest ones you have." He selected a dozen carnations and wrapped them carefully in a newspaper. I wanted to place them somewhere, but I didn't know where. I thought, I'll stick them into some snowdrift but there were people everywhere and I felt that doing so would be awkward. I walked further, but on the next street, the same thing; many people. Meanwhile the flowers were starting to freeze and stiffen. I wanted to find an empty courtyard, but everywhere children were playing. I worried that they would find the carnations and take them. I roamed farther along the streets and alleys. I could feel between my fingers the flowers were becoming stiff and brittle like glass. So I went beyond the town limits, and there, calmly, I placed the flowers amid the snowdrifts."

p. 186 (Regarding Zalozhnaya in Yakutz) "In one of those workrooms/neighborhoods stands a long, patient line. I come closer, up to the stand at which two saleswomen dressed in white aprons are working. I want to see what they are selling, what this crowd of people is waiting for. Cakes for sale. One kind of cake, one type only, with one pattern of pink icing identically inscribed on all. You can pick up the cake just like that-with your hands. It won't fall apart-it is frozen solid."

p.188 "At the end of the program, Yuri Lubimov, the director of the Moszow thaterTaganka, said in a critical but also despairing tone: "We have lost our minds, we have lost our conscience, we have lost our honor. I look around and I see barbarity!" Lubimov's powerful theatrical voice tilled the common room, spilled out into the corridor and lobby."

p.197 (referring to an event in Magadan) "Caucasian mafia" was how the taxi driver characterized those detained. The word "mafia" is enjoying a tremendous popularity these days. It is increasingly replacing the word "nation."

p.219 (Regarding visiting the Kremlin) "On these squares that spread out in all directions, packs of cars, scattered, some here, some there, take off every few minutes, dash wildly along, take every possible shortcut, and hurriedly disappear into the throats of streets that begin somewhere far from here. The infrequently stationed militiamen wisely stand out of their way. But besides them one cannot meet a living soul here, despite the fact that we are in the center of a city of ten million. One feels this desolateness especially on Sunday or during bad weather. The wind rips across the wasteland, driving rain or snow along with it. I sometimes ventured into these unpeople spaces..."

Also all of pg. 273.

p.321 "Television contributed greatly to the collapse of the Imperium. Merely by showing political leaders as normal people, by allowing everyone to look at them from up close-to see how they quarrel and become nervous, how they make mistakes and how they perspire, how they win, but also how they lose-by this lifting of the curtain and thus admitting the people to the highest and most exclusive salons, the salutary and liberating demystification of power took place." ( )
1 vote kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
Here is a book about all the places in the world you can be really, really glad you don't live. Brilliantly told. Amen. ( )
  poingu | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Ryszard Kapuścińskiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Atwood, MargaretPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
幸雄, 工藤Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Glowczewska, KlaraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Orzeszek, AgataTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Mijn eerste kennismaking met het Imperium speelt zich af bij de brug die het Pińsk met het zuiden van de wereld verbindt.
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