Whereas I, on a lovely spring day in 1955, suddenly came to the realization that there exists only one reality, and that is me, my own life, this fragile gift bestowed for an uncertain time, which had been seized, expropriated by alien forces, and circumscribed, marked up, branded – and which I had to take back from “History”, this dreadful Moloch, because it was mine and mine alone, and I had to manage it accordingly.

I daresay that the first and most shocking discovery made by writers in our time was that language, in the form it came down to us, a legacy of some primordial culture, had simply become unsuitable to convey concepts and processes that had once been unambiguous and real. Think of Kafka, think of Orwell, in whose hands the old language simply disintegrated. It was as if they were turning it round and round in an open fire, only to display its ashes afterward, in which new and previously unknown patterns emerged.

So when I speak of a vision, I must mean something real that assumes a supernatural guise – the sudden, almost violent eruption of a slowly ripening thought within me. Something conveyed in the ancient cry, “Eureka!” – “I’ve got it!” But what?