librarianka's Reviews > Koniec jest moim początkiem

Koniec jest moim początkiem by Tiziano Terzani
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's review
Nov 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: journalists, philosophy, travel, biography, fathers

What a pleasure to read Terzani. Some of my friends already acquainted with this author kept telling me to read him. Finally I borrowed this book, the last one, La Fine E Il Mio Inizio (The End is My Beginning) in Polish translation. It does not exist in English language. It is a series of conversations conducted with Terzani by his son Folco. In the course of many weeks or months, Terzani talks about his life, the travels, the countries he got to know by living inside them, studying them and its people and writing about them for newspapers and magazines among them Der Spiegel which was his employer for the most part of his life. He reminded me a little about another intrepid journalist and traveller Ryszard Kapuściski. They both liked to study their subjects in depth by reading many books, by melting into the country, by becoming one with the subject. Terzani always found ways to get off the planned route, off the beaten track, away from the official delegation, guides, guards, agents and spies, by simply hoping on a bike, getting on a train and blending in. This way he was able to visit place previously unvisited by foreigners and find out things unknown to his fellow Western reporters. He spoke Chinese, knew and loved the Chinese culture. He knew and loved Asia. He witnessed fall of Saigon, he talked to Khmer Rouge barely escaping with his life, he was expelled from China after he spoke the truth about life under the oppressive regime, he got depressed in Japan, foreseeing the mechanization and dehumanization of our societies. He withdrew and spent the last years of his life not seeing many people in the Italian countryside. What a great teacher he is. Only if we were ready to listen.

After reading this last opus, this sort of a testament, I now definitely want to read anything else he has written.

I think I am going to start with his Letters Against the War, he made available for free. Published in many countries and languages still unpublished in US or UK, they simply refuse to publish is.
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