Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wishlist: Item #1

Not that anyone is falling all over themselves to give me gifts or anything, but this is just in case. You know how it is when you go crazy trying to figure out what to give someone that they don't already have or won't secretly hate while they smile at you and become extra effusive just to cover up how they really feel?

Well, tell people what you want.

I want this book. I haven't read it since 1994 and have only the most hazy memory of it. What haunted me more was the idea of such an undertaking, the magnificence and madness of the gesture.

At the end of November '74, a friend from Paris called and told me that Lotte Eisner was seriously ill and would probably die. I said that this must not be, not at this time, German cinema could not do without her, we would not permit her death. I took a jacket, a compass and a duffel bag with the necessities. My boots were so solid and new that I had confidence in them. I set off on the most direct route to Paris, in full faith, believing that she would stay alive if I came on foot. Besides, I wanted to be alone with myself.

Werner Herzog walked. From the 23rd of November that year to the 14th of December, until he reached Paris. I remember from the book that his shoes were not quite so solid by the end of the trip; I remember the endless snow, blizzards. I don't remember whether he succeeded in his purpose, whether Eisner stayed alive because of the sheer idiocy of his undertaking. What did he think he was? Some ancient shaking his bare fist at the heavens and making vows of shattering power?

But I want to read Of Walking In Ice again and I want to own it. So now you know.

Oh, it's out of print, by the way. Oh no, wait: it's been republished this year. Yay!

Update: Talking about shoes, y'all do know about when Herzog ate his shoe, right? Video here.

4 comments:

Batul said...

Well, my dear, may your wishlist item # 1 come your way soon.

Swar said...

i now live on Herzogstandstraße in München...i loved his Heart of Glass though many people don't like it.

Space Bar said...

batul: :D

swar: nice to see you back! yes, i like heart of glass too...i assume you're mentioning it because that's the film that came out of this book?

swar said...

i didn't know about this HERZ coming out from the ice. shit. i should have pretended to be really smart and say 'of course, silly'.

i have to read this book and watch the movie again.