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Los Angeles Times: Werner Herzog's walking blues

By David L. Ulin
Jacket Copy / Los Angeles Times

Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog"Why is walking so full of woe?” Werner Herzog asks early in “Of Walking in Ice: Munich-Paris, 23 November – 14 December 1974” (University of Minnesota Press: 128 pp., $19.95 paper), a diary of sorts describing a 600-mile trek through winter that he undertook 40 years ago.

If this sounds quintessentially Herzog, quintessentially quixotic, so be it; in his films — most notably, perhaps, the hallucinatory “Fitzcarraldo” and “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” — he traces the price, and power, of obsession to both ennoble and dismantle us. Something similar is at work in this slender book, originally published in 1978 and newly restored to print.

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Of Walking in Ice