Kapuscinski wins prize in Italy

Ryszard Kapuscinski has been awarded the Premio Grinzane Cavour, one of Italy's most important literary prizes. The awards ceremony was held on 18 January in Turin. At the event, the laureate delivered an essay he had written on the world's cultural diversity. A few days earlier, that text had been published by Rome's 'La Repubblica', one of the biggest Italian newspapers. Ryszard Kapuscinski is Italy's most popular Polish writer. He was awarded the Premio Grinzane Cavour in the international 'per la lettura' category (ie for the pleasure the reading of his books gives the reader). Italians find his books thought-provoking. Ryszard Kapuscinski is regarded as a chronicler who had incisively interpreted the great social and political processes of the recently ended 20th century. 'The 20th century was not only an age of totalitarianism and wars. It was also a century of decolonization, that great liberation process. Three-quarters of the Earth's population were freed from the colonial yoke and, at least officially, declared to be fully empowered citizens of the world. Never in history had a similar occurrence taken place, nor will it ever repeat itself,' said Ryszard Kapuscinski in his acceptance speech. The essay well exemplified the writings of the author of 'The Emperor' in that it combined the reporter's own experiences in the world's remotest corners with a profound personal reflection based on extensive reading. In Turin, Ryszard Kapuscinski spoke out in favour of recognising world unity in diversity. Among others, he quoted such thinkers of the first half of the 20th century as the Pole Florian Znaniecki and English Catholic writer Gilbert K. Chesterton, who had voiced similar views.