Ryszard Kapuściński: Reportage and Ethics or Fading Tyranny of the Narrative

by Kinga Kosmala (Author)
Monographs 136 Pages


Ryszard Kapuściński was a direct witness to the creation and a collapse of numerous independent African states, the guerilla movements in South America, the military combat in Honduras and El Salvador, the coup in Angola, the 1974 revolution in Ethiopia, the anti-Shad revolt in Iran, the 1980 strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard, and the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, among others. This study examines Kapuściński’s reportage books, products of the author’s travels to distant lands, regarded by some as exempla of mastery in the nonfiction genre and by others as ethically questionable semi-fictional stories. Its intention is to look closely at the process of the aesthetic formation of his travel experiences into books and the ideological paradigm shaping his representation of the facts. In addition to that, the effects of authorial re-shaping of documentary material, the question of authenticity or fabrication thereof, and the epistemological responsibility of a reportage writer are also examined.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (July)
Polish reportage Media ethics Third World Post-colonial transformations Travel writing Nonfiction
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2012. 136 pp.

Biographical notes

Kinga Kosmala (Author)

Kinga Kosmala holds a PhD in Polish Literature from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. She works as the Lecturer in Polish at her alma mater. She was born in Poland but moved to the United States almost 20 years ago and lives in Chicago since then.


Title: Ryszard Kapuściński: Reportage and Ethics or Fading Tyranny of the Narrative