Paging Dr. Percy

So I went to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, a film very much about the importance of the artist.

And at the end, there was a note about how the film was inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig. Over at The New Yorker, Richard Brody shone a little light on the connection. Naturally, that led me to this longer consideration of Zweig in the magazine. Ah – a suicide. And naturally, that led me to this longer consideration of suicide’s resurgence, also in the magazine.

Artists, suicides, Zweig…ah. Of course. A Moveable Piece: Stefan Zweig and Walker Percy’s Problem of Artist-Writer Reentry, Jennifer Levasseur’s very fine presentation (attended by several members of the Kollektiv) at the second Walker Percy Conference (not to be confused with the Walker Percy Weekend, which somehow has yet to be mentioned on this blog).

Perhaps Dr. Percy is not quite as doomed to the past as I had feared. When I applied for the Amtrak writer thingy, I pitched The Last Gentlemen. Hoo!


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    I’d been debating whether to see the new Wes Anderson, or that Noah movie.

    Then I remembered I could just stay home with my DVD of that Wes Anderson ‘Noah’ movie.

  2. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Novels and Stories by Evelyn Waugh That Would Lend Themselves Especially Well to Screen Adaptations in the Distinct Style of Wes Anderson:

    I.) Decline and Fall
    II.) Scott-King’s Modern Europe
    III.) The Loved One

    • After introducing my dad to his (now) favorite war novel trilogy “Sword of Honour,” he eventually got to a large collected works edition of Waugh. Read “The Loved One” and said it reminded him of a weird movie he saw once long ago. Turns out it was an actual film! (I’m going to watch it as soon as I read the story first…)

      I’ve only read Scott-King of those you list; that & Black Mischief would be perfect in his “Distinct Style.”

      Also, I demand an Anderson Starship Troopers. (idea inspired by the ‘Nam play in Rushmore)

      • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

        Thanks for sharing the good news about your intrafamilial/intergenerational Evelyvangelization!

        You may have heard this already, but in case not: You all might want to start saving up your farthings and sovereigns, because Oxford University Press is supposed to begin publishing the 42-volume Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh sometime in the near-ish future.

        If Wes Anderson adapts Starship Troopers, I’ll be the first to buy a ticket! Until then, we’ll have to make do with Pacific Rim à la Michel Gondry.

        • Even supposing I had the farthings and sovereigns, where am I going to put 42 volumes? Waugh is one of the writers that has his own section in my library, but no one has 42 volumes worth of space.

          I used to have about 6 copies of Brideshead because I bought them whenever I saw them at book sales so I could give them away to people. I guess that makes me an Evelyvangelist.


          • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

            Where would you put them? Well, if I were a betting man, I’d bet that Oxford University Press will release the whole set as e-books, not just hard copies.

            A major downside of e-books, of course, is that the ones in copyright are much harder to share, tract-style, than is a good old wood-pulp codex. A challenge for the New Evelyvangelization.

        • I already accepted the fact I’ll never own GKC’s complete works. Now this?!?

          • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

            All the rivers flow into the sea, yet never the sea grows full; back to their springs they find their way, and must be flowing still. […] [T]his writing of books is an endless matter, and from overmuch study nature rebels.

        • I. unrelated but as you’re far more clever than I, it would be absolutely smashing if you’d consider a caption for our little blog’s latest post.
          (And yes, we have added the Korrektiv to our “bloggy goodness” feed!)
          II. related – I finished watching Parade’s End a few days ago. It bears a number of similarities to Sword of Honour, but Waugh’s Crouchback comes out looking better than Ford’s stubborn Catholic Tietjens who ultimately compromises. Two different wars, yes but still a fascinating comparison. Think I’ll develop it into a blog post. Have you read/watched either?

          • I should be embarrassed to admit that I’ve never even heard of Parade’s End, but then, I’m a barbarian, so I’m not even smart enough to be embarrassed. But I do love Sword of Honour.

            Will check the blog.

            • I had never heard of it either. It’s a strange bird alright. Ford however is an anti-Waugh of sorts. Never read Ford’s books and don’t intend to any time soon, but Cumberbatch and Hall are enjoyable to watch as the main characters. It’s [the bbc adaptation] much prettier than Sword of Honour but ultimately less satisfying.

            • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

              Barbarism isn’t a matter of lacking smarts, but of lacking certain kinds of knowledge.

              What I’m trying to say is that you’re not too stupid to be embarrassed; you’re just too ignorant.

          • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

            Haven’t read or watched either of Sword of Honour or Parade’s End, but they’re both on my to-read list, and Sword is actually sitting on my bookshelf. I’m finishing up Put Out More Flags right now, and recommend it. It’s set during the 1939-1940 ‘Phony War’, and Waugh apparently wrote it around 1942, while returning to England from the first phase of his own WWII experiences. It continues the stories of many characters from Waugh’s 1920s-30s novels, and the protagonist is Basil Seal of Black Mischief (which I have not read). Waugh’s great gift for mixing judgment, mockery, empathy, and elegant craftsmanship is very much on display.

            I do look forward to reading your own thoughts on Parade’s End and Sword of Honour, if you do end up blogging them.

            As for your remark on your opinion of our respective relative clevernesses: You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly not-comment.

  3. If Amtrak springs for it, I’ll be the first to buy a ticket!

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    Saw it, thought it was fantastic. Connections occurred to me as well, but only one of us has a work ethic.

    Good luck with the Amtrak thing. Maybe my Uncle could tag along with you …

    • We both know that I have no such thing. It’s just a question of something bugging you until it gets wrote down.

  5. Quin Finnegan says

    Also watched The Counselor again, and you’re right: there’s quite a lot going on there. In the expanded DVD version, Bruno Ganz (jeweller in Amsterdam) has a monologue that is for the ages. Really, the whole thing is a minor masterpiece. Just avert your eyes during the beheadings … I actually like it more than No Country for Old Men. Can’t speak to the Road. But more than Blood Meridian, too, I think. Will be worth taking up in more detail later on.

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