Homage to Hitchens - Macleans.ca

Homage to Hitchens

The author has called off his book tour. I really, really hope he’s ok.

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Christopher Hitchens is one of my heroes. If his book sales are any indication, I’m not alone in this. I have a copy of Hitch-22 sitting on my desk that I started a few weeks ago, and put down after ten pages because I realized once I got into it, it was going to occupy all my thoughts and attention for a good stretch of time. So that’s this long weekend’s project.

Hitchens  has been on a punishing book tour — lucky fellow —  that he cancelled indefinitely today, citing personal reasons (and amidst rumours he was seen being stretchered off an airplane).

One of Hitchens’ own heroes is Orwell, and his admiration for Orwell’s writing sometimes tips from homage to parody. Which is this? Maybe we can ask Queen Elizabeth while she’s here:

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist and feminist in England.” — Orwell, Wigan Pier

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“The heir to the throne seems to possess the ability to surround himself—perhaps by some mysterious ultramagnetic force?—with every moon-faced spoon-bender, shrub-flatterer, and water-diviner within range.” — Hitchens, on Prince Charles.

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I really, really hope he’s ok.