"Collages began with an image which had haunted me. A friend, Renate, had told me about her trip to Vienna where she was born, and of her childhood relationships to statues. She told me stories of her childhood, her relationship to her father, her first love. I begin the novel with: Vienna was the city of statues. They were as numerous as the people who walked the streets. They stood on the top of the highest towers, law down on stone tombs, sat on horseback, kneeled, prayed, fought animals and wars, danced, drank wine and read books made of stone.