Dalrymple recently went to see the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel and noticed a statement in the credits that the movie was inspired by the work of Stephan Zweig. Thus the rhetorical title. But he also noticed something else.
The most interesting thing about the evening for me was buying the ticket. The young man at the counter said something unintentionally significant. ‘You’ll enjoy the film, there are a lot of famous actors in it.’ He did not say that there were many good actors or good performances in it (there were none of the latter, at least): fame in his estimation was its own justification, to be enjoyed for its own sake.
Read it at the Salisbury Review