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Werner Herzog on traveling on foot

Michael: You’ve always had a fascination with people who stand outside of what the majority of us see as history. I think of someone like Fini Straubinger, who is blind and deaf and has no knowledge of the destruction of the Second World War. Or Kaspar Hauser, who spends his early years locked in a cellar with no knowledge of humanity. History as we conceive of it has missed them somehow. Do you see this as a precious quality?

There is something quite important in what you’re asking, and I can make only a very tiny step toward an answer. In my case, I have tried to live outside of the fashionable trends. This has got me into trouble all the time. I make my own observations, and, like Onoda, I create my own world view out of the knowledge that I derive from the world itself. When you travel on foot, for example—and I don’t mean backpacking or hiking, I mean, for example, travelling on foot from Munich to Paris—you are given a world view, an insight that is different or outside of the average knowledge. I have a dictum: “The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot.” I do not want to explain it any further.

-- Werner Herzog interview by Michael LaPointe (New Yorker)