There’s apparently a new collection of Christopher Hitchens essays out (most likely the last we’ll ever see), and here’s a review of it in The Guardian by Terry Eagleton. The review ends up being more about Hitchens than the essays, noting that “Christopher Hitchens was the ultimate champagne socialist, though as his career progressed the champagne gradually took over from the socialism.” Other pretty fair points are taken, although I did enjoyed this line most: “As a militant atheist, he once remarked that the only reason he would make a deathbed conversion was so that there would be one Christian less in the world.”
I think all writers write as if they are another writer, at least occasionally but more-so when first starting out; I admit to very much wanting to write like Hitch, but then soon realizing that A.) it’s futile because it comes from a biography I can never understand, and B.) political theatre is way less interesting than other topics. So I moved away from a more argumentative style (and stopped consulting the OED as much), and started writing about connections between myself and the larger culture—and between that culture and the ecosystems its rapidly exhausting.
But many of us owe a real debt to Hitchens, and I still remain one of his defenders and fans, even given his support of the global imperial project that I find to be just as anti-life as he thought religion was. (To be clear: I, too, think religion is, at heart, a hatred of life—a refusal to accept life.) I certainly wish he would’ve criticized military intervention as much as he criticized just about everything else. But I am still thankful for all of his appearances on Fox News.