Werner Herzog discusses J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine

The Peregrine book cover - Rik Rawling

J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine is one of my favourite books. It’s about much much much more than the titular bird, so it doesn’t really surprise me that it’s one of the key texts (alongside Virgil, Hemingway and the Warren Commission Report) that Werner Herzog presses on his students in the Rogue Film School. In February this year, Herzog was at Stanford University to discuss the book with Robert Pogue Harrison, and it is quite remarkable to hear Herzog reading Baker’s incredible prose aloud. Here’s just one example of how good a writer he was:

The valley sinks into mist, and the yellow orbital ring of the horizon closes over the glaring cornea of the sun. The eastern ridge blooms purple, then fades to inimical black. The earth exhales into the cold dusk. Frost forms in hollows shaded from the afterglow. Owls wake and call. The first stars hover and drift down. Like a roosting hawk, I listen to the silence and gaze into the dark.

This is my 2012 drawing of Werner Herzog:

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog & Robert Pogue Harrison discuss The Peregrine, 2 February 2016

 

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