I may be the last person to know about Wes Anderson’s upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, but reading about the film last night in The Daily Beast was revelatory and thrilling. Anderson is a fan of Stefan Zweig! One of the highlights of my dissertation research has been discovering Zweig. Even though he doesn’t factor at all in the nuts and bolts of my text, he’s a huge influence. Zweig’s Magellan biography—available for free on the Internet Archive—was an utter delight and I’m motivated more than ever to finally read Amerigo: A Comedy of Errors. I hope Jason Diamond’s optimistic prediction, of Americans falling for Zweig after seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel, comes true.
A perk of my dissertation research is attending the weekly Taller de Amereida at the Open City. During these 60-minute lectures professors read passages from texts that are meaningful to them and one book has been frequently cited: Stefan Zweig’s Magellan (1938). Perhaps it was Carlos Covarrubias’s inspiring form of reading or plea for the undergraduate students to read it over the recent holiday break (even this late in the game, I can’t resist homework), I was determined to get my hands on an English translation.