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Werner Herzog Tells Your Children to Go to Sleep

Written by Eli Katz on Wednesday, August 31 2011 and posted in Columns

Eli Katz discusses and links to some of the best short stories available for free online. This week's choice: "Go the F*K to Sleep" by Adam Mansbach.

The famed German director Werner Herzog is a mad genius. Opposed to the use of special effects, he hired an Amazonian tribe to carry a steam ship over a mountain for a movie shoot. He visited a remote island on which a volcano was about to erupt, in order to interview the last remaining villager who refused to evacuate. During a TV interview, Herzog was hit by a stray bullet but continued the interview undaunted, saying, "It's not a significant bullet." He has also eaten his shoe on camera.

(A stern-looking Herzog)

Herzog, who narrates all his documentaries, speaks with a ghostly voice. He has a German accent, of course, but he does not have the hard, authoritarian tone that so many of his countrymen seem to have. He sounds not like a Nazi, but rather like a prophet—a Germanic prophet whose main interest is to point out absurdities and celebrate rare beauties.

He has, in other words, the perfect voice for telling children to go the fuck to sleep. Which is exactly what he does on this
YouTube video

Specifically, he reads the funniest children's book ever written,
Go the F*K to Sleep
by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés. A German genius reading a work of comic genius. It doesn't get better than this. I don't think I'll say more about either Herzog or this children's book. There's no need. They really speak for themselves. But I will say this, if you haven't seen any of Herzog's films yet, track them down.  They're brilliant.

Okay, now stop reading this article and go read the fucking book. 

Written or Contributed by: Eli Katz

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