From Erich Kastner, “Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist”

tr. Cyrus Brooks:

Rather against his will, Fabian was allowing Malmy to enlighten him on the subject of short-term loans. “The whole country, politically and economically, is falling more and more into the hands of foreigners,” he maintained. “A pin prick and the whole thing will blow up. If once the money is recalled in large quantities, we shall all go broke–the banks, the municipalities, the joint-stock companies, and the Reich.”

“But you never put that in the paper,” said Irrgang.

“I help to do the wrong thing consistently. Anything that assumes gigantic proportions may be imposing, even stupidity.” Malmy scrutinized the young man. “You’d better go out quickly. There’s a small gale blowing up in you.” Irrgang laid his head on the table. “Get on the sporting staff,” advised Malmy. “Sport won’t make such demands on your sensitive constitution.” The young man stood up, staggered across the room to the back door, and went out.

Munzer sat down on the sofa and began suddenly to weep. “I’m a swine,” he murmured.

“A strongly Russian atmosphere,” said Strom. “Alcohol, self-torment, and tears from grown-up men.” He was touched, and stroked the political editor’s bald head.

“I’m a swine,” murmured the other. He insisted on it.

About Eve Tushnet

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