Quotations From RYSZARD KAPUSCINSKI

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  • 1.
    Our job is like a baker's work—his rolls are tasty as long as they're fresh; after two days they're stale; after a week, they're covered with mould and fit only to be thrown out.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. "The Plan of the Never-Written Book," sct. 33, The Soccer War (1990).

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  • 2.
    We follow the mystics. They know where they are going. They, too, go astray, but when they go astray they do so in a way that is mystical, dark, and mysterious.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. "A Warsaw Diary," no. 15, Granta (Cambridge, England, 1985).

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  • 3.
    Be careful: they have arms, and no alternatives.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. "A Warsaw Diary," no. 15, Granta (Cambridge, England, 1985).
  • 4.
    When man meets an obstacle he can't destroy, he destroys himself.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. "A Warsaw Diary," no. 15, Granta (Cambridge, England, 1985).
  • 5.
    The so-called new Russian man is characterized mainly by his complete exhaustion. You may find yourself wondering if he has the strength to enjoy his new-found freedom. He is like a long- distance runner who, on reaching the finishing line, is incapable even of raising his hands in a gesture of victory.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. Independent on Sunday (London, Oct. 27, 1991).

    Read more quotations about / on: strength, freedom
  • 6.
    Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. A Warsaw Diary, Granta, no. 15 (Cambridge, England, 1985).

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  • 7.
    Do not be misled by the fact that you are at liberty and relatively free; that for the moment you are not under lock and key: you have simply been granted a reprieve.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. "A Warsaw Diary," Granta, no. 15 (Cambridge, England, 1985).
  • 8.
    In Poland a man must be one thing: white or black, here or there, with us or against us—clearly, openly, without hesitations.... We lack the liberal, democratic tradition rich in all its gradations. We have instead the tradition of struggle: the extreme situation, the final gesture.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. "A Warsaw Diary," no. 15, Granta (Cambridge, England, 1985).

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  • 9.
    Although a system may cease to exist in the legal sense or as a structure of power, its values (or anti-values), its philosophy, its teachings remain in us. They rule our thinking, our conduct, our attitude to others. The situation is a demonic paradox: we have toppled the system but we still carry its genes.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. Independent on Sunday (London, Sept. 1, 1991).

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  • 10.
    Our salvation is in striving to achieve what we know we'll never achieve.
    Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932), Polish journalist. A Warsaw Diary, no. 15, Granta (Cambridge, England, 1985).
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