Blog post

'Where does journalism end and literature begin?' Artur Domosławski at the Frontline Club

20 September 2012

In the ideology of the state at that time, a journalist was supposed to be a soldier on the ideological frontline-- Artur Domosławski 

For the many people who were unable to attend last night's fully booked Kapuściński event at the Frontline Club with author Artur Domosławski, the entire conversation and Q&A is now available online.

Chaired by Victoria Brittain, former associate foreign editor at the Guardian and unapologetic Kapuściński fan, the event was both a celebration of Domosławski's book and Kapuściński's life and writing. But the question was also proposed at the start of the evening of the often blurry relationship between journalism and literature, and whether Kapuściński’s style was reminiscent of reportage rather than journalism. 

Kapuściński's life, like his writing, was rich and enigmatic.  On the publication of The Emperor in the 1980s, it was read by many as an allegory of the 'court' of the Communist Party in Poland during the 1970s. “The Emperor is the best Polish novel of the twentieth century" was what one of Kapuściński's friends was reported to have said. Domosławski tends to believe that Kapuściński would not disagree.

Domosławski and Brittain were also joined by John Ryle, the writer and specialist in Eastern Africa, a topic of much of Kapuściński's writing, as well as Antonia Lloyd-Jones, the English translator of Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life.