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English Muse: Hitch

Monday, November 15, 2010



Hello my dears,

Have you been following journalist and critic Christopher Hitchens' courageous stories about living with stage four cancer?

Hitchens' illness was discovered when he collapsed at the beginning of a national tour earlier this year to promote his autobiography, "Hitch 22". Since then, he has written with humor, intelligence and unflinching honesty about life in what he calls "Tumortown" in a remarkable
  series of columns for Vanity Fair.

How serious is his condition? Well, as he likes to point out, there are no stage five cancers.

Again and again during his illness, he has returned to the consolations of great literature. In a Guardian interview over the weekend, Hitchens says that when he conceives his life's work--all the journalism and debates and polemics--he thinks of it as a defense of civilization by which he means, first of all, literature.

(Photo, above, from Vanity Fair.)

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Blogger Jg. for FatScribe said...

Yeah, Tina, been following Hitch. As an Anglophile who appreciates erudition personified in humorous, er, sharp-tongued Brits, I always look forward to hearing him speak (except when he rails against God, though I do like when he points out the hypocrisy of us believers). His brother Peter's book "Rage Against God" is a book I found fascinating. (yes, I am one of those pesky people of faith that has been praying for him, much to his slight bewilderment, yet gracious patience.)

One of my favorite Youtube moments ever was watching the discussion w/ Bill Buckley and Hitchens regarding Vietnam and Hitch's working on a Cuban coffee plantation and their polar-opposite worldviews (w/ Hitch's Trotzkyite panacea juxtaposed w/ Buckley's laissez faire anti-communism).

Thanks for sharing w/ the rest of class, Tina!

November 15, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

I've also been following. When I read his first installment, I felt a sinking at the information that his father had died of the same disease. I hope he is able to work out spiritually what he is furiously coping with intellectually.

November 15, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Splenderosa said...

I think he has worked out how to deal with this dreadfulness in a fashion quite suitable to his life.
One cannot possibly think an intellectual like Hitch would find faith in sickness, when his entire previous life has had none. And, that's OK. He is brilliant. And, he is brave to share with the world how he feels each day. Lovely photo of him.

November 15, 2010 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

I wasn't referring to faith, but the spirit, the marrow of life. I'm not religious or faithful but I know that when I've suffered- raw, true hopeless suffering- it was not my mind that helped me through after all. The voracious reading and writing are also the mainstays of my life, but it is the work of the heart that 'soothes the savage beast'.

November 16, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

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