Werner Herzog makes a commitment to himself to trek from Munich to Paris in the belief his dying mentor, Lotte Eisner, will remain alive as he journeys to her on foot. This journal powerfully captures the brutal weather and bitter cold. Herzog breaks into homes or buildings to make it through the nights. And at times, he appears to go mad as he chronicles his surrealistic thoughts.
This is 1974, and it gives you a sense how much the world has changed as we experience with him the roads, poverty, farms, streams, forests and disconnected towns and citizens that eye him warily. Herzog takes you on the odyssey emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
The other benefit of reading this book is it inspired me to watch several of his incredible films at the same time. One of my favorite quotes from the book could only come from a filmmaker. “Only if this were a film would I consider it real.”
I found this an interesting line from a review as well: “Beautifully designed and emotionally impressive, Of Walking in Ice is the first in a color-coded series of remarkable yet long-forgotten titles being republished by Free Association.”
Herzog is a man who goes to extremes in his art and life in the best way. Read an excerpt of Werner Herzog’s Of Walking in Ice on Vulture.com.
You also might enjoy Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer.
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