Christopher Hitchens has done everything
I can think of to alienate me as a fan
in the last few years. Somehow, I find myself
enjoying him more.
"Everything I can think of," is a little strong,
really. This is the man who penned "The Trial
of Henry Kissinger" as well as "Why Orwell Matters."
He is also the one person who comes to mind
when the word "writer" is bandied about. Hitchens
is the embodiment of all things author: a
sherry swilling, chain smoking,
intractable and arrogant guy who values nothing
above the word. He is, by all accounts, a
great reader, which is step one in a great writer.
Sometimes I think he courts controversy solely for
the sake of courting controversy. This is
the only explanation I have for his opinions vis a vis
the Iraq War and the Islamic world.
One thing is sure, he isn't a slave to contemporary
consensus. What is less fashionable in this
hyperreligious atmosphere than fundamentalist
If we are to seek out today's Swift or Pope, Hitchens
is as good a start as I can muster. Wit should
be displayed with savagery. Who does this better?