The Ends of the Earth.pdf
Born in 1955, Roger Willemsen has been an author, foreign correspondent, academic and critic, before becoming a television personality with his own show Willemsens Woche (Willemsen's Week) in 1991. Since then he has also worked as a documentary film-maker and producer. He has written several bestselling non-fiction in Germany, including one based on interviews with former inmates of the US detention camp in Guantanamo, Cuba.
In a world shrunk by mass tourism and the Internet, any attempt to bring fresh insights to the genre of travel writing might appear a futile endeavor. Yet Roger Willemsen's "The Ends of the Earth" pulls off this feat with panache. Venturing, as the title promises, far and wide, and recording his impressions in twenty-two essays, this celebrated writer not only journeys deep into unfamiliar geographical territory, but also probes the lives of others and plumbs the innermost recesses of his own mind. The result is far removed from the superficial charm of the traditional travelogue: as the author admits, more often than not his quest is driven by "a predilection for unlovely things." A series of remarkable encounters and mysterious entanglements combine to create an opinionated psychogeography that is by turns profoundly poignant and wryly humorous. Willemsen's accounts of his visits to locations as diverse and distant from one another as a volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula, a railway station in Burma, an icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean, and a hospital ward in Minsk, range from the mundane to the extraordinary, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and hold the reader constantly in thrall. "The Ends of the Earth" is a unique and fascinating work by one of Europe's most idiosyncratic literary voices.
Roger Willemsen was an author and foreign correspondent before becoming a television personality with his own show "Willemsen's Week" in 1991. Since then he has also worked as a documentary filmmaker and producer. He has written several books, five of which have featured on the "Der Spiegel" bestseller list in Germany. He is the author of "An Afghan Journey," published by Haus in 2007, which was recommended by PEN.