By Kyle | March 31, 2011
An ode to slash attack on the contradictions of Christopher Hitchens from the London Review of Books. Not only is it premature, but Hitchens keeps dishing out Slate columns every week. If this be dying, it looks pretty lively. I’ve just gotten a galley of “The Quotable Christopher Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism,” which is easily my favorite book of its kind since “The Alphabet from A to Y (with Bonus Letter Z)” by Steve Martin and Roz Chast. Part of the fun of the book is that it merrily quotes Hitchens when he is completely wrong, such as his foolhardy swipes at George Will and Charles Krauthammer.
I don’t relish a world without Hitchens: along with many people, I like to hear from a man of principle at moments when recourse to principle strikes him as the greater part of valour, and listen in on his boisterous indiscretion when it doesn’t.
So no thanks, not ‘played’. Not quite yet. And who but the press looks forward to the homage from the Hitchens camp: the opera buffa novelists, the prickly atheists and Muslim-baiters, the warrior intellectuals pondering their just wars? Can anything strike a harsher blow to a celebrity’s standing, dead or alive, than the thoughts of his close friends? Hitchens has an army of those. The silence of erstwhile comrades and the barbs of enemies old and new will do him more credit.