Friday, December 16, 2011

"In Christopher Hitchens we have lost a great untamed public intellectual."

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious.”

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan

For some reason I developed a great deal of affection for Christopher Hitchens over the years. I loved his audacious frontal assault way of writing. I particularly loved his brutal deconstructions of Mother Teresa and Henry Kissinger. I loved his erudition and sense of humor and that beautiful voice of his.

I did not love his support for the invasion of Iraq. Nor did I love the narrow-mindedness of his atheism, which I think was his greatest failing as an intellectual.

But now he is gone, and we are all worse off for that, although we are all better off for his having been here in the first place.

Here is a collection of some of his greatest hits: The Immortal Rejoinders of Christopher Hitchens

The Daily Hitchens website has several items of interest including an interview with Hitch just two days before he died, and his last Vanity Fair piece.

His New York Times obituary: Polemicist Who Slashed All, Freely, With Wit

His Guardian obituary: Celebrated journalist, writer and unshakeable secularist has died from complications of oesophageal cancer

His Haaretz obituary (which contains the line that provides the title for this post): Christopher Hitchens, great Iconoclast and Moralist, is dead

And finally, here is the man in action, as he should be remembered: Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan Spar Over the Peacefulness of Islam