Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

NOBODY LEAVES: Impressions of Poland by Ryszard Kapuscinksi

NOBODY LEAVES: Impressions of Poland by Ryszard Kapuscinksi
02 Jul
2017
Ryszard Kapuściński 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

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. Lovely thick woods begin right next to the track... people come along, sit down in the woods, and wait for the train.’

What they all share, however, is a tension between the old world and the new. Village children dream of moving to the city where they say ‘there are so many cinemas, and people don’t have to do things’. Later in the collection, Kapuściński’s army friends grapple with the anxiety of new Cold War weaponry: ‘In our lack of scientific knowledge we spun unfettered fantasies. Some kind of chemical process, instantaneous and terminal, would take place – something in the form of a blast or an invisible change in the composition of the air, and we would melt and evaporate.’

Such observations often reach out of the countryside and tap into international feelings of the age. It is no wonder he was voted one of the greatest journalists of the 20th century.

Click here to purchase Nobody Leaves: Impressions of Poland by Ryszard Kapuscinksi

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe to Geographical!

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Human Game – Tackling football’s ‘slave trade’
    Few would argue with football’s position as the world’s number one sport. But as Mark Rowe discovers, this global popularity is masking a sinister...
    Essential oil?
    Palm oil is omnipresent in global consumption. But in many circles it is considered the scourge of the natural world, for the deforestation and habita...
    National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    The green dragon awakens
    China has achieved remarkable economic success following the principle of developing first and cleaning up later. But now the country with the world's...
    Hung out to dry
    Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for mill...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Exhibitions

It’s hard to imagine life without the visual world upfront…

Books

by Patrick Winn • Icon Books • £14.99 (paperback)

Books

by Mark Nelson • UA Press • £21.99 (paperback)

Books

by Ed Douglas and John Beatty • Vertebrate Publishing •…

Books

by Tristan Gooley • Sceptre Books • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Adam Weymouth • Particular Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by David Runciman • Profile Books • £14.99 (hardback)

Films

Blockbuster dinosaur sequel asks probing questions about humans’ ethical responsibilities…

Films

Are kangaroos a great icon for Australia? Or a natural…

Exhibitions

New exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery by photojournalist Lizzie Sadin,…

Books

by Tim Marshall • Elliott & Thompson • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Inara Verzemnieks • Pushkin Press • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Andy Kirkpatrick • Vertebrate Publishing • £24 (hardback)

Books

edited by Paul Hawken • Penguin • £16.99 (paperback)

Books

by William Frame and Laura Walker •British Library Publishing • £40…

Books

by Tom Young • Oneworld • £12.99 (hardback)

Exhibitions

An up-market Chinese-art gallery in Mayfair is trying something new,…

Exhibitions

A colourful vision of saddle-billed storks collects the top prize…

Exhibitions

To reflect the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage…

Exhibitions

From 18-22 July, photography tour company Light and Land will…