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  1. #1
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    Christopher Hitchens has died at age of 62

    Oof. I knew it was coming but what a loss. Although I haven't always agreed with his writings, what an extraordinary intellect. I will miss reading him....

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...HxO_story.html

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by animlzrule View Post
    Oof. I knew it was coming but what a loss. Although I haven't always agreed with his writings, what an extraordinary intellect. I will miss reading him....

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...HxO_story.html
    I thought his support of the Iraq War bordered on racism, but there were many, many things about which he was absolutely right. And even when he was wrong, he was usually pretty witty.

    I too will miss his writing.

  3. #3
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    Guardian Obituary here.

    I found his views on Iraq conflict shocking but then again, maybe not so much
    England's dancing days are done...

  4. #4
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    The Telegraph obit: Christopher Hitchens

    The last Hitchens essay published during his lifetime: Trial of the Will (Vanity Fair)

    Guardian: tributes and reactions

    Guardian: Hitchens quotes
    (e.g., "The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics." )

    Requiescat in pace, Hitch. You will be missed. Along with Voltaire, Orwell, Wilde - you are missed.
    Though notorious for his view of religion as “a terrible fetter on the mind, and a maker of slaves”, he claimed to be touched by the number of Christians who were praying for his soul.

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  6. #6
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    ^^^^^^
    The above link by Peter Hitchen is well worth a read and very moving
    England's dancing days are done...

  7. #7
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    Regarding Hitch's stance on the recent Iraq wars (and his earlier contrarian vote for Thatcher), W.H. Auden, from his poem at W.B. Yeats's death:

    Time that is intolerant
    Of the brave and the innocent,
    And indifferent in a week
    To a beautiful physique,

    Worships language and forgives
    Everyone by whom it lives;


    ---

    “Herewith, Hope It Serves. As Always, Christopher.”
    Christopher Hitchens’ greatest Slate hits.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for that link, wfgodot Hitchens was such a good writer. I also loved to watch him debate. We (and he) knew this day was coming, but it is still sad.

  9. #9
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    A definitive profile of Hitchens, from The New Yorker (2006):

    He knew he was right

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Regarding Hitch's stance on the recent Iraq wars (and his earlier contrarian vote for Thatcher), W.H. Auden, from his poem at W.B. Yeats's death:

    Time that is intolerant
    Of the brave and the innocent,
    And indifferent in a week
    To a beautiful physique,

    Worships language and forgives
    Everyone by whom it lives;


    ---

    “Herewith, Hope It Serves. As Always, Christopher.”
    Christopher Hitchens’ greatest Slate hits.
    wfgodot, it's a rare post where I have to spend a half-hour or more struggling to understand the post's intent. But yours is such a post.

    And, yes, the struggle was worth it. Thank you.

    (The New Yorker profile was a great help.)


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    wfgodot, it's a rare post where I have to spend a half-hour or more struggling to understand the post's intent. But yours is such a post.

    And, yes, the struggle was worth it. Thank you.

    (The New Yorker profile was a great help.)
    Speaking of being witty even when wrong in his views, before casting his vote for Thatcher he called the Callaghan government "Weimar without the sex."

  12. #12
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    A nice little tribute from an Independent blogger:

    Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011: A thank you, of sorts
    ---
    It is not exactly true to say that I have had no ‘real’ contact with the man. After being given his e-mail address by a colleague (upon request) I wrote to offer my condolences and thanks. Asking for some reassurance that the itch to scribble is at least worth scratching he replied (in lightning speed):

    “Pay heed to Rainer Marie Rilke’s question about whether you could go on living if you were prevented from writing. Once answer “no”, and the lesser problems fall away. This is simply because you have chosen to do what you should and must and are immune from petit-bourgeois regrets about other career-paths not taken. Then it begins, and you have a life and not an ‘occupation’.”
    ---

  13. #13
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    Brilliant piece on the brilliant man:

    Christopher Hitchens: 'the consummate writer, the brilliant friend'
    Ian McEwan writes of his close friend's last weeks, and how his love of journalism and literature sustained him to the end (Guardian)
    ---
    His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater's famous phrase, he burned "with this hard gem-like flame". Right to the end.

  14. #14
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    Christopher Hitchens' wit and warmth remembered as New York pays tribute (Guardian)
    ---
    For an hour and a half, the cavernous Great Hall of the Cooper Union in Manhattan was filled with the wit and the coruscating erudition of the man universally referred to as "Hitch". But for Martin Amis - "Little Keith" as Hitchens always called him – the most enduring quality was friendship.

    Amis, delivering the eulogy, recalled the 16 or 17-hour sessions that they would have together, fuelled by food, drink, tobacco and conversation. "Who could be more agreeable than Hitch?" Amis asked.

    The novelist pondered the secret of why Hitchens had been so widely loved over his career as an essayist, polemicist and public intellectual. It was partly, Amis said, because of his "full and friendly" good looks, partly because of his "perfect voice without any mannerisms or poncey intonations like mine" and partly because he loved nothing so much as to argue with himself.

    "He was an auto-contrarian: he contradicted himself as if he felt the only person really worth arguing with was Christopher Hitchens."
    ---
    much more at link above

  15. #15
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    A welcome article from the Mail, for which the late Christopher's brother, Peter Hitchens, writes:

    'I am not fighting or battling cancer - it is fighting me': Last words of author Christopher Hitchens as he faced the end (Daily Mail)
    As he faced death from cancer, author and journalist Christopher Hitchens kept his wry sense of humour to the very end, it emerged today.
    ---
    But he lost none of his wit and trenchant views as he faced the end of his life. In his final book, Mortality, he wrote: 'Lost 14lbs without trying. Thin at last. But I don't feel lighter because walking to the fridge is like a forced march.'

    All the sleep-aids and blissful dozes seem somehow a waste of life - plenty of future time in which to be unconscious.'

    Hitchens knew he was dying but saw the funny side of all the glowing praise for his literary work. 'Now so many tributes that it also seems that rumours of my LIFE have also been greatly exaggerated.

    'Lived to see most of what's going to be written about me: this too is exhilarating, but hits diminishing returns when I realise how soon it, too will be "background."'
    much more at the link



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