Reflection of the book “The Shadow of the Sun” by Ryszard Kapuşciňski.

Ryszard Kapuşciňski was a Polish journalist who travelled throughout Africa for forty years as a reporter of the rich multicultural background and difficult social situation. In this book he presented what he experienced during his different trips of the entire continent. This reading made me think about another two I had for some months ago, and I am going to explain in which terms.

There are two evidences in the reading of this book that I found interesting. Firstly, the view given to the reader about Africa is not an official one, as those known by everyone or basically stereotyped. Indeed, it is a trip along unofficial routs. This reminds me of the book “The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin, who also followed unofficial paths to take itself through Australia. Secondly, the fact that the author chose to present his views about his exploration without any too simple or general description, reminds me of the book “Travels with Charley” by John Steinbeck. This book tells about the trip that the writer made with his dog Charley, through America. Similar to Chatwin, also Steinbeck puts his personal views and experiences in the narration.

“All are arrivals from elsewhere, all are immigrants.” If I was asked to summarize the book “The Shadow of the Sun” I would definitely use this words. As interested in the issue of migration, which is especially a current one, I was really struck by these words. As written before, I appreciate the personal observations and the social meaning of it. In fact, Kapuşciňski was not only a traveler and writer but firstly a journalist, therefore he saw things in a different way and with different targets. Going through the pages I could imagine myself walking around the same territories visited by the author and meeting the same persons. I enjoyed this reading very much and would definitely recommend it.


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