On Bruce Chatwin Meeting Werner Herzog

Bruce Chatwin

In the introduction of Bruce Chatwin’s book What Am I Doing Here, he warns us with a simple passage:

“The word ‘story’ is intended to alert the reader to the fact that, however closely the narrative may fit the facts, the fictional process has been at work.”

This doesn’t mean that the essays and stories collected in the anthology are all lies, but rather that, perhaps, they’re aiming for what the filmmaker Werner Herzog calls ecstatic truth.

In an interview with Speigel Online, Herzog says “Facts per se are not so interesting for me. Facts do not illuminate; they create norms. The Manhattan phone directory has 4 million entries which are factually correct, but as a book it doesn’t really illuminate you.”

Continue reading