My mother gave me away.
In Holland - in Rotterdam - for a year, I was kept on a fishing trawler with a woman. My mother came to visit me there every three or four weeks. I don't think that she cared much for me at the time. However, this then changed.
I was a year old, we went to Vienna ... and then the mistrust, lingering still when I was brought to my grandfather, who by contrast, really loved me, changed.
Then taking walks with him - everything is in my books later, and all these figures, male figures, this is always my grandfather on my mother's side ... But always - except for my grandfather alone ... the consciousness that you cannot step outside of yourself.
All else is delusion, doubt. This never changes ...
In school years completely alone.
You sit next to a schoolmate and you are alone.
You talk to people, you are alone.
You have viewpoints, differing, your own - you are always alone.
And if you write a book, or like me, books, you are yet more alone ...
To make oneself understood is impossible; it cannot be done.
From loneliness and solitude comes an even more intense isolation, disconnection.
Finally, you change your scenery at shorter and shorter intervals. You think, bigger and even bigger cities - the small town is no longer enough for you, not Vienna, not even London. You've got to go to some other part of the world, you try going here, there ... foreign languages - maybe Brussels? Maybe Rome?
And there you go, all over the place, and you are always alone with yourself and your increasingly dreadful work.
You go back to the country, you retreat to a farmhouse, like me, you close the doors - often days long - stay inside, and the only joy - and at the same time ever greater pleasure - is the work. The sentences, words, you construct.
Like a toy, essentially - you stack them one atop the other; it is a musical process.
If a certain level should be reached, some four, five stories - you keep building it up - you see through the entire thing ... and like a child knock it all down. but when you think you're rid of it ... another ulcerous growth like it is already forming, an ulcer that you recognise as new work, a new novel, is bulging somewhere on your body, growing larger and larger.
In essence, isn't such a book nothing but a malignant ulcer, a cancerous tumour?
You surgically remove it knowing of course perfectly well that the metastases have already infected the entire body and that a cure is completely out of the question.
And of course it only gets worse and worse, and now there is no rescue, no turning back.
Thomas Bernhard, extemporising in 3 Days