ROBERT POGUE HARRISON: In your conversation with Paul Cronin in 2014, you say, “Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world; those who immerse themselves in the internet or watch too much television lose it. […] Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.” Could you share with us some of your thoughts about your relationship to reading books and the value of the literary?
WERNER HERZOG: In a way, it has been something that is guiding me throughout my life. Beyond this auditorium, there are many more students at Stanford University, and many of them do not really read — including film students. They read a book about editing, but they haven’t read, let’s say, the dramas of Greek antiquity. And I keep saying to them you have to read. Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read. If you do not read, you will become a mediocre filmmaker at best, but you will never make a really good film. And almost everyone that I know who has made very strong, very good substantial films are people who are reading all the time. I see three, four films a year, maybe sometimes a little bit more during a festival, but I do read.
And of course, I’ve written prose and some poetry. I am fairly certain that my written work will outlive my films.
Is that right?
It’s very, very clear. There’s no doubt whatsoever in me.
“Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world . . . Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.” – Werner Herzoghttps://t.co/A4HsLJxoSK
— Ernest Hilbert (@everseradio) January 2, 2020