David LaRocca

The Autobiographical Sublime: Achieving Herzog’s Persona at the Intersection of the Home Movie, Self-Citation, and Autofiction

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Keywords: Werner Herzog, Home Movie, Sublime, Self-Citation, Autofiction.

How did Werner Herzog achieve his distinctive cultural persona? One reply may come by way of Stanley Cavell, namely, that Herzog explored and subsequently discovered certain possibilities of the film medium – in particular, its aesthetic potentialities. From this vantage, there appears to be good reason to see Herzog’s achievement in terms of the aesthetics of home movies, especially as that practice came to involve intertextuality (and self-citation) and relatedly a willingness to foster fictions based upon realities (sometimes called autofiction). From this triangulation, I contend in what follows that something distinctive emerges: Herzog’s persona. And it is the creation and cultivation of Herzog’s persona – mostly by his own hand – that catalyzes the intrigue of this research, in particular, how we might go about identifying his strategies for achieving both.

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