Anne Carson: Why does tragedy exist?
Alex Zucker: Every time I think about international politics I want to smash something.
AC: Because you are full of rage.
AZ: No shit, Sherlock.
AC: Why are you full of rage?
AZ: Why do you think?
AC: Because you are full of grief.
AZ: Oh. [thoughtful pause] Is that it? I thought it was because of my self-righteousness, grounded in what John Bradshaw refers to as toxic shame.
AC: Ask a headhunter why he cuts off human heads. He’ll say that rage impels him and rage is born of grief. The act of severing and tossing away the victim’s head enables him to throw away all of his bereavements. Perhaps you think this does not apply to you.
AZ: No, I can see pretty well how it would apply to me.
AC: Yet you recall the day your wife, driving you to your mother’s funeral, turned left instead of right at the intersection and you had to scream at her so loud other drivers turned to look. When you tore her head off and threw it out the window they nodded, changed gears, drove away.
AZ: Um, actually, Anne, I don't recall anything of the sort. Are you sure you've got the right Alex?
AC: . . .
AZ: That's what I thought.