Tag Archives: London Review of Books

A Zootomy of Zweig

Michael Hofmann performs a Gatling gun murder of Stefan Zweig that you won’t want to miss. The review also gave me the rare opportunity to use “zootomy.”

[A]ll his life, Zweig prided himself on his lack of any political nous. He is in Belgium in July 1914, and so sure that the Germans won’t invade that he offers to hang himself from a lamp post if they do. A few hours later they do, and he doesn’t.

By that point (the quotation above) in the essay, it’s palpable how much Hofmann wanted Zweig to use that lamp post.

photo of Stefan Zweig

If you don’t think you’re familiar with Zweig, you likely are, because you have probably heard of, or seen, this film:

image of Grand Budapest Hotel

John Lanchester on Capitalism

You can read the full article here:

Succession is a merciless depiction of how capitalism works. The world of the show is a drama, but it’s also just business as usual. Stewie, one of the show’s baddies – a magnificently horrible hedge fund big shot involved in a hostile takeover of Waystar – sums it up. Right at the end of the final episode of Season Two, Logan and Kendall go to Stewie as supplicants and make a desperate final offer.

Stewie: ‘It does not work for us. Sir.’

Kendall [incandescent]: ‘Dude, are you fucking for real? I mean you fucking need to make it work, OK? Or I will personally fucking destroy you. I will cut you with a fucking razor blade and I will cut your fucking dick off …’

Stewie [wearily]: ‘ … your dick off and push it up your cunt until poo-poo pops out of my nose hole. Dude, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t mean anything. You can threaten to stuff a million severed dicks into my ball bag, but the actual fact is, we’re persuading more and more shareholders every day that we offer them just a slightly better chance for them to make a little more money on their fucking dollar, and that’s all that this is.’

Logan and Kendall have no reply. Confronted by the deepest verity of capitalism, even the bastards go quiet.