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Curriculum vitae

On the radio I hear Bob Dylan singing "Blowin' in the Wind". I can't follow the words too well, but I immediately realise that I'm listening to someone who is going to influence a whole generation
I'm standing in an American street, 42nd Street in New York. Alone. And I have been alone ever since. When I return home my children don't recognise me
In the North-West I hear Simon & Garfunkel singing "Scarborough Fair / Canticle" for the first time. 'I'he song will enrapture me for another 14 years
After a failed marriage I end up in a cellar - just for a moment until I get over it. There is water dripping down the walls, in the night I hear bits of soaked plaster falling off. I will stay there 7 years. (At the beginning of the seventies my Veronika comes to the cellar: discovered, pregnant, abandoned - all by me!)
All night long, until morning, I cry for one of my children (David born in 19G6). I am frightened that that he will die. He goes on living - but I lost him
I find my Wall - but have as yet no idea how important it is going to be for me
I try to paint and to write. 'rhe verdict is unanimous~ it's shit. Total silence surrounds my photos in my homeland. Later I realise that this wasn't malice, absolutely no one has heard of me)
I meet Jana D. - for the first time I encounter real contempt for moral values
I beget a child by sweet-smelling Veronika. During the process she loses consciousness I'm frightened she's going to die. But she comes round again without any trouble
I go up into the mountains. I go by myself and get lost, but I obstinately hack my way through thick pine scrub. Suddenly it hits me that I've reached a place where no human being has ever been, and where, if I died here, no one would look for me or find me
May to July. I'm in love with a red-haired girl - and forty others! Aids is not yet in fashion
The mother of two of my small children dies. She is soon forgotten. Oh I still miss her! Who knows when I shall see her again... My father dies too: he had a long and maybe even happy life. I was at least able to say goodbye to him
From the bosom of night little Zuzanka lands in my cellar. She swallows pills, eats chocolate
I wake in the night with tears in my eyes. Half asleep, I make a note on the wall and fall asleep weeping again. In the morning the word "AUSCHWITZ" is on the wall
I take barbiturates - I dream of paradise
Zuzanka leaves. When I asked her why she had stuck with me so long, she said: "Because you never asked questions."
I earn my first $ 1,000, which is as much as my whole year's pay as a labourer, which I anyway continue to be
I beat the best runner in our group in a long-distance race (8 km.). Later they explain that "he's really not that good a runner". Illusion smashers...
My interminable drudgery in the factory is over: I receive (miraculously) a membership card for the Czech Visual Artists' Fund. I'm free. But my boss insists I serve out 9 months notice - his legal right. But what is an extra three-quarters of a year of pointless and meaningless drudgery compared with the preceding 33 years?
I find myself on a nude beach: dumbfounded by the beauty and wretchedness of human beings, all of us
I am assigned a little attic flat: a darkroom, a bed and a table - that's all I need. I still live there today
A nineteen-year old girl says to me with complete sincerity that she can't believe that old people (40-50) can still do it. And I remember my own adolescent diary, in which I wrote about the cleaning lady: "The old girl's got the hots again at forty"
I attempt suicide. I've never been thorough. This goes wrong too. It's the first time that my laziness has helped me
My girlfriend tells me that we are having a baby. That, I think, would be a good excuse for us to get better acquainted
My wife promises that if I don't make regular payments she will have me put in a psychiatric hospital, where "they'll really make a madman of me". I feel as if I've heart something similar before
In the middle of the night I bump into my once favourite daughter, Karolína. We don't recognise each other. I remember her as a child and she remembers me as a dark-haired young man - now we are neither
My family seizes all my negatives. I'm subjected to blackmail on a grand scale. In the course of the tug-of-war over the negatives I hear the plain unvarnished truth about myself: I'm a fool, an idiot and I'll never make an artist like Anderle. It's just as I'd always suspected! Five months later I get them back. the period when I was without the negatives was probably the worst time of my life