In the past, we’ve told you about Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, which offers an unconventional crash-course in auteurship, teaching students everything from “the art of lock-picking,” to “the creation of one’s own shooting permits,” to the “athletic side of filmmaking.” As with any good curriculum, Herzog provides a required reading list, which asks students to pore over some unexpected books. When was the list time a film professor asked students to read Virgil’s Georgics, Hemingway’s “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” or J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine?
If you haven’t heard of it, Herzog considers The Peregrine one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century. First published in 1967, this classic of British nature writing has “an intensity and beauty of prose that is unprecedented, it is one of the finest pieces of prose you can ever see anywhere,” says Herzog. Earlier this year, the filmmaker paid a visit to Stanford University and had a wide-ranging conversation with Prof. Robert Harrison (host of the podcast Entitled Opinions) about what makes The Peregrine such a wondrous work. The event was hosted by Stanford Continuing Studies and “Another Look Book Club,” which introduces you to the best books you’ve never read.
The conversation with Herzog officially begins at the 3:00 minute mark.
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!