The article analyzes the narrative form of Ryszard Kapuscinski's 'Travels with Herodotus'. A key role in its structure is played by two types of autobiographical narration, personal reminiscences and intertextual reflection (quotations from Herodotus' Histories). The authorial 'I' is present in both of these strands: while reconstructing his portrait from memories picked up on the way into his own past he stops to peer into the mirror of Herodotus, matching the ancient traveller's character, values and work habits with his own. In this way he builds a double-track autobiography. For all its autobiographical self-centeredness the 'Travels' are instilled by a longing for an encounter with the Other. Whereas in Kapuscinski's earlier works Otherness was usually contemporaneous, the 'Travels' are driven by a desire to break through the boundaries of time, to meet Herodotus directly, face to face. There seems to be no other way of getting in touch with that venerable traveller than interweaving the two discourses, the Polish and the Greek, and entering into dialogue with the latter through interpreting the Other's text in the manner of hermeneutics. Finally, Kapuscinski's careful reconstruction and creation of Herodotus' character has one more function - open the 'Travels' to issues of philosophy of history.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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