‘I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony but chaos, hostility and murder’

Werner Herzog is a Romantic.

A Romantic with a twistedasfuck sense of humour.

A lot of what he says, I don’t believe.

(Or maybe I just don’t agree with it. Which probably says more about me than it does about Werner Herzog).

But I love this story.

‘The inhabitants of the village of Shivakoreni were not sure whether it was true that on the other side of the Andes there was a monstrously large body of water, an ocean. In addition, there was the fact that
this monstrous water, the Pacific, was supposedly salty.

We drove to a restaurant on the beach a little south of Lima to eat. But our two Indian delegates didn’t order anything. They went silent and looked out over the breakers. They didn’t approach the water, just stared at it. Then one
asked for a bottle. I gave him my empty beer bottle. No, that wasn’t right, it had to be a bottle that you could seal well. So I bought a bottle of cheap Chilean red, had it uncorked, and poured the wine out into the sand. We sent the bottle to the kitchen to be cleaned as carefully as possible. Then the men
took the bottle and went, without a word, to the shoreline. Still wearing the new blue jeans, sneakers, and T-shirts that we had bought for them at the market, they waded in to the waves. They waded, looking over the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, until the water reached their underarms. Then, they took a taste of the water, filled the bottle and sealed it carefully with a cork.

This bottle filled with water was their proof for the village that there really was an ocean. I asked cautiously whether it wasn’t just a part of the truth. No, they said, if there is a bottle of seawater, then the whole ocean must be true as well.’

And I love the way he says it.

xx

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