Your characters have been described as completely unlikable. What is your reaction to that description?
Herman Koch: “They are unlikable in a way, but I personally never dislike them completely. I am not writing satirical novels with caricatures of real bad people in them.
In order to write about, or from the point of view of, a character, I must feel sympathy for him or her in some way. I might disagree with certain actions or thoughts, but I always try to understand them. And last but not least, I truly believe that ‘un-likable’ characters are the salt of the earth—they can be funny and make us laugh, or shock and revolt us, but in the end I think they offer a much more ac- curate version of “the truth” than their more likable counterparts.”