An early Thomas Bernhard story, first time in English, as translated by Martin Chalmers.
While the new tutor has until now remained silent during our lunchtime walk, which to me has already become a habit, today from the start he had a need to talk to me. Like people who for a long time have said nothing and suddenly feel it to be a terrible lack, as something alarming to themselves and the whole of society linked to them, he explained to me all at once, agitatedly, that, really, he always wanted to speak, but could not speak, talk. I was no doubt familiar with the circumstance, that there are people, in whose presence it is impossible to speak . . . In my presence, it was so difficult for him to say anything that he was afraid of every word, he did not know why, he could investigate it, but such an effort would probably vex him over far too long a period of time. Especially now, at the beginning of term, under the pressure of hundreds of pupils, all of them hostile to discipline, under the pressure of the ever coarsening season, he could not afford the least vexation. “I permit myself absolutely nothing now,” he said, “I consist one hundred per cent only of my personal difficulties.”