an excerpt from Herzog’s ‘of walking in ice’

EAVVES_WERNERHERZOG_BOOKWerner Herzog at Bookforum:

In Schramberg, things seemed to be still in order: fried goose at the tavern, card players playing skat. One of them would get up when he lost, pacing back and forth among the tables with extreme agitation. A climb up to the fortress instead of down, then along the chain of hills to the Lauterbach Valley. Black Forest farms come into view without warning, and a completely different dialect, also without warning. I’ve probably made several wrong decisions in a row concerning my route and, in hindsight, this has led me to the right course. What’s really bad is that after acknowledging a wrong decision, I don’t have the nerve to turn back, since I’d rather correct myself with another wrong decision. But I’m following a direct imaginary line, anyway, which is, however, not always possible, and so the detours are not very great . . . The forest opened into an elevated valley, then past the last farmhouse it climbed steeply through wet snow to the Gedächtnishaus, reaching the road again beyond the height. An elderly woman gathering wood, plump and impoverished, tells me about her children one by one, when they were born, when they died. When she becomes aware that I want to go on, she talks three times as fast, shortening destinies, skipping the deaths of three children although adding them later on, unwilling to let even one fate slip away—and this in a dialect that makes it hard for me to follow what she is saying. After the demise of an entire generation of offspring, she would speak no more about herself except to say that she gathers wood, every day; I should have stayed longer.

more here.