Of Selassie So many estions not enough answers The Emperor baffles any ready description A Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski renders an account of the last schizophrenic years of Ethiopia s ancient kingdom and the demise of it emperor whose ways are not our ways to say the least Reviews may not suffice to say exactly why or how the book works but I ll add mine anyway to the others that have noted its mystiue The book s structure takes a straightforward path The author interviews courtiers associates and servants of the Emperor Haile Selassie in the months just after his dethronement Selassie s reign is recounted in parts each starting with Kapuscinski s observations about the situation at hand followed by comments from the relevant courtiers to furnish color detail and insight The tapestry woven from these remarks and the writer s added observations depict an esoteric mindset I ve often wondered When humans left their tribes to create the world s first civilizations what were those societies like I don t mean the art they created or the decrees of their leaders I mean did the people think and act like Rebels Guide to Rosa Luxemburg us The fabric of the story givess that answer for Ethiopia was just such a place And the answer is a mind boggling no What we find is a land so ancient it s not even medieval a place where even feudalism would represent progress But make no mistake it is still a fully developed civilization not some savage prehistoric amalgam Kapuscinski knows he has stumbled into something niue a culture whose primeval foundation neither lends nor refuses itself to any obvious interpretation In this emperor this court and this society a primordial human drama demands its stage Such a provenance makes conclusions or judgments about Ethiopia impossible to categorize The declivities of class and hierarchy within this kingdom exceed anything known to man An antediluvian social stucture showcases the raw exercise of power at its stripped down worst absent any modern guile By design mediocrity trumps merit as a tool to balance power and maintain social order turning the country into a kind of Ayn Rand novel come to life Such an order inevitably clashes with the outside But decisive are the its own internal contradictionsThe several speakers whose contributions build the story relate the details with elegance In these vignettes lie much of the book s narrative power the interviewees tell what they know with a delicate economy that page per page conveys detail plot and feeling than any book I can recall Here s one such description of the increasingly opaue autocracy People seemed nable to control things things existed and ceased to exist in their own malicious ways slipping through people s hands Everyone felt helpless before the seemingly magic force by which things autonomously appeared and disappeared and nobody knew how to master or break that force This speaker later accentuates the dissipation gripping Selassie s final decade Even conversation deteriorated losing its vigor and momentum Conversations started but somehow never seemed to be completed They always reached an invisible but perceptible point beyond which silence fell The silence said Everything is already known and clear but clear in an obscure way known Sunce je počelo da se zlati unfathomably dominating by being beyond helping Having confirmed this truth by a moment of silence the conversation changed its direction and moved on to a different subject a trivial second rate second hand subject The elliptical way the speakers tell their stories adds to the book s kaleidoscopic dazzle Their many points of view make truth a perspectivalest No immediate verdict emerges pon the rule of Ethiopia s last emperor #His Sycophants Both Attack And Defend His Rule And They #sycophants both attack and defend his rule and they right in each case Yet all the while the reader can detect a bigger picture getting lost in the details Under Kapuscinski s journalistic guidance the gripping reality of this society emerges to recruit one s sense of the grotesue This regime outclasses modern ones in some ways No violent purges or collective bloodbaths ever occur But the extremes of hierarchy leave the tragic fates of the many to deface a benighted landKapuscinski tells an amazing story amazingly and his journalist s sense of having discovered an nprecedented subject is dead on right The writing speaks for itself Its object is From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek uniue The story is a spellbinding discovery The Emperor in short has all thealities of a perfect book You cannot go wrong choosing it to read This book was a gift to me from a friend who is a former Guardian journalist During the Communist era Ryszard Kapu ci ski was foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency and reported on civil wars and revolutions from all over the Third World The introduction by Neal Ascherson reveals that after reporting on the coup of 1974 that destroyed the Abyssinian Empire Kapu ci ski was approached by his publishers to write a book on it but could not find a way to write it Suddenly he remembered a story someone had told him about the emperor s dog It was a small dog a Japanese breed His name was Lulu He was allowed to sleep in the Emperor s great bed During various ceremonies he would run away from *The Emperor S Lap And Pee On *emperor s lap and pee on shoes The august gentlemen were not allowed to flinch or make the slightest gesture when they felt their feet getting wet I had to walk among the dignitaries and wipe the rine from their shoes with a satin cloth This was my job for ten years Kapu ci ski realised he had his start and so the book became a portrait of the fall of the Haile Selassie s empire
"In The Voices Of Its "the voices of its courtiers Their accounts are elouent and wonderfully ironic I imagine however that much of this stylistic elegance and powerfully apposite irony has been woven into the accounts by Kapu ci ski Certainly the structure of the book into three sections The Throne It s Coming It s Coming and The Collapse allow the courtiers descriptions to move from the ridiculous through the injurious to the appallingly brutal Here is an early one from The Throne that stuck in my mind The masters of ceremony had to se all sorts of stratagems to prevent the Emperor from being embarrassed financially I remember for instance how His Majesty paid the salaries of foreign engineers but showed no inclina. D Ryszard Kapuscinski Poland's leading foreign correspondent traveled to Ethiopia to seek out and interview Selassie's servants and closest associates on how the Emperor had ruled and why he fell This sensitive powerfulhisto. ,
Summary Cesarz AUTHOR Ryszard Kapuściński,
By the Conuering Lion of the Tribe of Judah His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I King of Kings Lord of Lords Elect of God A sovereign a direct descendant from the From Mistress to Wifey ueen of Sheba and the King Salomon of Israel by law decree that isNo wonder such title comes with almighty power The Bible isn t very exact on the homeland of saideen and noting that Solomon allegedly had 700 wives and 300 concubines there would be offspring literally everywhereBut it fits well into the narrative of an old kingdom to trace it s lineage even longer back and why not Disney Infinity: Character Encyclopedia use a Biblical reference for the occasion after all the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has existed since the middle of the fourth century thus giving a blessing to everything that would render a holy shine on the kingdom So The Emperor isn t just anybody What do you do with such powerThere are many views and many sources some reliable than others HS liked progress cars airplanes and to the degree that it didn t interfere with state interests also education One of the mantras was You must Develop but the development stopped right outside the palace and Ethiopia remained largely a feudal state where aristocracy and local notabilities got the better partThere are schools but the literacy rate is well below 20% and there are hospitals though you would have to prepare yourself well in advance should you need oneAnd of course there is a constitutionThe rich are getting richer and the poor going nowhere except to die from starvationThat isnless you have connections Someone who knows someone in the palace someone you might do a favor and get a little in returnYou would assume this was the chance of a lifetime but ministers and secretaries were replaced at such speed that you should play your cards extremely well to stay on the favored list Everyone informs on each other and reports back to The Emperor to display loyalty and to remain in favor and The Emperor listens nods and takes mental notes All along you get the impression that HS really didn t care about others as long as the fanbase was at a steady level and showing the splendor of The King of Kings contributed to thisBeing seen in the admiring company of foreign heads of states giving banuets and throwing the remains to the poor poor because they are lazy and presenting fireworks to the people out of grandness and goodwill all looks like the final days of the Roman Empire And it is the final days The interviews with palace officials ranking from the purse bearer to the pillow bearer and Dance With The Devil upwards mostly show a public accepting fate and adoring The King of Kings a godly creature as infallible as The Holy Pope a man who could do no wrongOnly in the aftermath when the interviews took place some show just a little doubt and humbly suggests that if just His Venerable Highness though he only stood 5 feet 2 had been told by someone he would have set everything right The issue of course is that HS very well knew and had absolutely no intention of doing anything that would prove him less infallible hence the many changes in the abundance of ministries always have a scapegoat ready Was HS an evil dictator Maybe at least he chose with open eyes to enroll in the ranks of the privilege blind and never showed any regrets Great historical book describing the mood of the palace in Ethiopiander the rule of Haile Selassie Excellent in its description of mood You actually see the insanity and chaos that Selassie created and nurtured in his palace and metaphorically throughout his country And by the end of the book you nderstand how the King of Kings was destroyed by the monster he created The style was nlike any book I d read in the past It was really well done My favorite books by Kapuscinski are those where the author travels and explains for the world what other peoples feel This is just an original biography It has been contested in its accuracy The protagonist Haile Selassie emperor of Ethiopia is shown as a surreal personality who controlled a populated African country The book tries to introduce you into the history of the man who on the other hand Rastafarians chose as the reincarnation of Jah This #Is The Portrait Of A Na Ve Man Who Transformed # the portrait of a na ve man who transformed selfishness and power into worship his thorough maintenance of statu A White Slave in Turkey Book 1 - A BDSM Novel uo into genocide We live in a strange world and you might be curious to take a dip into this man s soul I don t believe you will succeed innderstanding his soul there s nothing worth 1898 understanding But you will get close to the late Emperor of Ethiopia s court A 35 star rating perhaps This book contains accounts from those close to Ethiopia s last emperor Haile Selassie It chronicles Selassie s opulent lifestyle and his subseuent downfall It speaks to thendoing of African leaders I ve always been intrigued by Selassie and was interested to know about himThe Emperor is a very dramatic account of Selassie s and I did get a slightly clearer idea of who Selassie was He was very progressive in many ways and he was Night of the Werewolf (Choose Your Own Nightmare, uite eccentric as well Overall he was painted asite the despot in this book something I d never really heard been said about himKapuscinski managed to interview those close to the emperor albeit anonymously and put their thoughts into this book However the accounts sounded a bit too fictional to me That s not necessarily bad but I was looking for something substantial and something that didn t sound so one sidedI also felt that the book didn t have a logical #START I EXPECTED EVERYTHING TO GO #I *Expected Everything To Go From *everything to go from to finish Perhaps this is my own error for having a wrong idea about what this book was trying to doIn my opinion Kapuscinski is better suited to write short anecdotes and make anthropological observations while on his reporting assignments I d really enjoyed Kapuscinski s last book The Shadow of the Sun and had thought this would be just as enjoyable I feel that someone like Emperor Selassie and roads are named after him all around Africa after all is deserving of a factual in depth properly documented account I wanted to know why he is so revered in the Rastafarian community for example but this account didn t go into thatThis book whetted my appetite for learning about Selassie and Ethiopia It was hard for me to accept the content as the Ethiopian people I know speak highly. Haile Selassie King of Kings Elect of God Lion of Judah His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia reigned from 1930 ntil he was overthrown by the army in 1974 While the fighting still rage. ,
Tion to pay our own masons after the construction of the Imperial Palace called Genete Leul These simple masons gathered in front of the Palace they had built and began asking for want was due to them The Supreme Master of Palace Ceremony appeared on the balcony and asked them to move to the rear of the palace where His Magnanimous Highness would shower them with money The delighted crowd went round to the indicated spot which enabled His Supreme Majesty to leave nembarrassed through the front door and go the Old Palace where the court awaited himWriting about The Throne reminds me that there is an entertaining section where the courtier describes the Emperor s carefully planned visits to outlying districts where the district had to be put in order first draining the Treasury and imagines the effects of the Emperor not announcing his visit in advance but simply turning Vérité (Love at Center Court, up He arrives in an empty field What can you do How can you act Setp the throne and roll out the carpet That would only make it ridiculous The throne adds dignity only by contrast to the surrounding humility Is anyone else thinking of the solitary king on the deserted planet in St Exup ry s Le Petit Prince Both St Exup ry and Kapu ci ski spent a lot of time in AfricaThe descriptions multiply of the Emperor s reliance on informers and the suspicion and fear that dominate an increasingly corrupt and frightened court I happened to mention during lunch with a friend that I was reading this book and she remarked that in 1973 or 1974 she had worked with Haile Selassie s daughter in law who had had to flee the country It all felt suddenly very near and very recent I had just finished reading Philippa Gregory s The White Princess which describes the court of King Henry VII and it was a bit depressing to think that the descriptions of Haile Selassie s court were almost identical except that over five hundred years separated the twoKapu ci ski s skilful arrangement of the courtiers descriptions and comments becomes heartrendingly powerful as we come to the revolts the vicious beating and killing of students and any women or children who happened to be in the way and then the discovery by Jonathan Dimbleby in 1973 of starving hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians which led to international condemnation of the regime and Beyond the Qumran Community ultimately to its collapse A cruel modus operandi emerges from the mouths of the courtiers that hunger keeps a people too weak to rebel The last witness in the book is the Emperor s old valet de chambre whom Kapu ci ski had great difficulty finding In the last days he would comfort the Emperor by leading him to the chapel where he could not hear thenruly mob and would read to him from the Biblical prophets They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets they that were brought p in scarlet embrace dunghills Powerful imagery plus a change moins a change I hope to read Shah of Shahs and Another Day of Life by this author The author is a Polish journalist and in this book he Chronicles the downfall of Haile Selassie the longtime ruler of Ethiopia The book is divided into three sections and in the first he interviews those who worked in the palace #There is some tongue in cheek humor here we learn many of the jobs #is some tongue in cheek humor here as we learn of the *jobs did and took do seriously were ite strangea human cuckoo whose only job was to *did and took do seriously were Losing Control uite strangea human cuckoo whose only job was to on the hour a functionary with a collection of pillows so he could be sure tose the correct size to prop of the feet of the emperor Much stuggling for positions favor who is closest who did he speak to the most Everything revolved around his majesty nothing could be fixed built without his approvalThe second section Chronicles the failed revolution which forms at a fashion show of all things Many were killed their bodies displayed as a warning It would be another ten years before his actual downfall which is chronicled in the third act Brought about because of the emperors lack of knowledge about the many starving in the northern parts of the country This was brought to national attention Remember feed the world with so many well known musicians The dead and dying bodies on our news shows A short book which is actually an allegorical rendering of Selassies ousting since it would be a full two years after this was published that the autocrat falls A short book a series of interviews with various personages with insertions by the author A very different reading experienceAlso im trying to give this book three stars and Goodreads won t let me I keep tapping on clear and it just gives me back the same four stars So frustrating From the waning Gomulka regime forward Kapuscinski fashioned a journalistic career out of exceedingly subtle swipes at the pretenses and tragicomic self deception of Soviet style Communism The Emperor is aimed at Haile Selassie who Kapuscinski paints as a vapid self important ignoramusHow much of this is actually Selassie and how much is carefully picked in order to make fun of Stalin or Khrushchev or even Gomulka is Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (light novel) up for debate but that s exactly what makes this book a masterpiece I can t think of a bitter catalog of the pathologies that accompany political power and by the end it doesn t matter all that much who s in the limo surrounded byislings and sycophants One of the mysteries of this book is whether dictators like Selassie come into being due to good timing canny manipulation or people s gullible belief that they can change their own nature Kapuscinski refuses to take sides on the PHILIPPINES 1/1M3 uestion of which comes first the Hitler or the Reich he s of a muralist than a satirist which is part of what makes The Emperor so satisfying I can t recommend this book highly enough A little lesson in the blurred lines between reportage and fiction a detailed account of the fall of Haile Sellasie given by the ministers and servants who once waitedpon him Not of course that you d ever believe these are direct transcriptions of inte His Majesty His Venerable Highness His Revered Highness His Peerless Majesty His Most Exalted Majesty Our Distinguished Monarch His Venerable Majesty His Most Virtuous Highness His Distinguished Majesty His Supreme Majesty the King of Kings His Magnanimous Highness the Supreme Benefactor everyone appearing in Mr Kapu ci ski s work seems to have a different form of address for Hai. Ry The New York Review of Books is Kapuscinski's rendition of their accounts humorous frightening sad grotesue of a man living amidst nearly سفر عاشوريات _ 1000 جملة ساخرة unimaginable pomp and luxury while his people teetered between hunger and starvatio.