Hitchens in hindsight/oversight

Alexander Linklater's cover story in Prospect magazine is the best single feature book/daddy has ever read on Christopher Hitchens -- a thorough tracing of his political arguments, an informed recounting of his family background (and how Hitchens insists it has little to do with his political arguments).

But there's this one, sizable oversight: There's very little on his literary criticism -- except the obvious influence of Orwell. I know, I know -- the big "flashes" in Hitchens' life, the motivating moments that he talks about when his personal insights fuse with historic occasions, have primarily been political. And who cares about novels when we're talking about '68 and the Berlin Wall and 9/11 and the blood and sand of Iraq? 

Well, book/daddy cares. Sorry about that. Or actually, no, I'm not. Hitchens' writings on literature, book/daddy would argue, are often more enlightening, more thought-provoking than another one of his polemics insisting that Bush's war in Iraq remains a worthy cause --  a predictable defensive stand for Hitchens to take. But being predictable and defensive doesn't become Hitchens.

In the end, book/daddy would rather read him on Wodehouse than Wahabism.  

April 23, 2008 10:40 AM |



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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on April 23, 2008 10:40 AM.

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