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Herzog, Werner, Of Walking in Ice: Munich–Paris, 23 November—14 December 1974 [1974], translated by Alan Greenberg, translated by Martje Herzog (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015).

Filmmaker Werner Herzog’s remarkable account of his journey on foot from Munich to Paris

In late November 1974, filmmaker Werner Herzog received a phone call from Paris delivering terrible news. German film historian, mentor, and close friend Lotte Eisner was seriously ill and dying. Herzog was determined to prevent her death and believed that an act of walking would keep Eisner alive. He took a jacket, a compass, and a duffel bag of the barest essentials and, wearing a pair of new boots, set off on a three-week pilgrimage from Munich to Paris through the deep chill and snowstorms of winter.

Of Walking in Ice is Herzog’s beautifully written, much-admired yet often overlooked diary account of that journey. He documents everything he saw and felt on his quest to his friend’s bedside, from poetic descriptions of the frozen landscape and harsh weather conditions to the necessity of finding shelter in vacant or abandoned houses and the intense loneliness of his solo excursion.

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