Ad Personam



The Benedictine nuns, who filled these vast walls with their song, have disappeared. A place of enchantment and an ideal place to film Kafka's 'castle'. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the castle was the scene of glittering banquets given by Pasha Sefir, who was excluded from the line of succession, and who enlarged the castle with several characteristic annexes. Following the demise of the Danube Monarchy, Benedictine nuns of the higher nobility came here from Prague.
I became acquainted with the prioress by a chance coincidence, and we remained friends over many years. Bertholdstein: my place of retreat for quiet study, somewhere I have lost.

Rockefeller Study Center

Arrival. Entering the garden with its endless pathways as Resident Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, you enter an earthly paradise. Set halfway up the slope above Bellago, the Center is located in the former summer residence of the bishops of Milan. Nothing distracts you here from contemplation – only every once in a while a glimpse over Lake Como, towards towering snow-covered mountains.


Big Sur

The bare rocks fall almost vertically down into the Pacific, Highway 1 winds endlessly in narrow curves above the ocean. The Great South, as the Spanish missionaries called this part of California.  Eventually one reaches Esalen, a centre of American counter-culture, with its hot sulphur springs. It was here that Henry Miller, fleeing from 'the air-conditioned nightmare', from Western civilization, spent the best years of his life.