I will replay my last interview with Christopher Hitchens –a three hour conversation about his autobiography– sometime between now and the New Year.
He was a joy to interview and a wonder to listen to debate, unfailingly gracious to me, my other guests and my audience.(…)
I suspect that every one of the 50 conversations we had on air between 2006 and 2010 is still of interest because Hitchens could not be other than interesting, a compelling voice for freedom and courage in the age of terror.
All of those transcripts are in the archive, and a New Year’s resolution of mine will be to arrange to have them put into a single CD set so that people will be able to hear as well as read his command of the language and of his arguments.
We spent a great deal of time discussing God, and I hope and pray I am correct in my views and that he can concede to me on that subject when we meet again.
We’re all awaiting Mark Steyn’s comments, no? And Peter Hitchens’, naturally. I believe Michael Coren worked with him years ago, so… After Martin Amis weighs in, that’ll be it for me, probably. (Oh, and Derb.)
Mostly because hundreds of writers will consciously or unconsciously try to write Hitchensesque obits, and end up publicly wetting themselves.
Brace yourself for lots of cliches, faux heightened language, misused Britishisms and poorly chosen adjectives throughout today and the weekend.
Or just don’t bother reading most of them. Would he, except maybe to rip them to shreds?
(It doesn’t help that another year is at its end, and that — at least in this hemisphere — it’s dark and cold. All these elements will help make these elegies extra sh*tty.)
Savor the final irony of all this bad prose being squeezed out to “honor” a great stylist.
As of 6:30am, there are already about 1300 results for “Christopher Hitchens” at Google News, from the Guardian to Al Jazeera (yes, well…) to the Hindu Times and the G&M, etc.
A lot of people will find themselves more self-conscious about their writing style over the next few days, staring down at their feet as they try to dance. I was going to say, “I hope it blocks the worst of them, at least temporarily,” but that 1300 figure isn’t encouraging.
Anyhow: Some of us were betting he’d turn Catholic before he died, perhaps just to be annoying. I assume we were wrong. Not that I blame him, but it would have been fun for the rest of us, for a minute or two.
Also? I’ve promised myself if I ever get cancer I get to start smoking again.