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He was the most distinctive personality in Western literary journalism. Follow the latest on his blog._______RIP, Dear Friend By Andrew Sullivan He once wrote to me: "Dearest Andrew I always think of Sunday lunch as beginning at about 2.30 ('a lavish and ruminative feast', as Waugh says about elevenses). "However, one thing that grave illness does is to make you examine familiar principles and seemingly reliable sayings.” He went on to dispense with familiar principles and maxims, including “whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”—a defiant and courageous takedown, to the end._______It is fitting that Christopher Hitchens would die one day after the official ceremonies in Baghdad to end the Iraq war.
Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J. Ballard; from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad.
Christopher Hitchens is preeminently in the second group.
He seems to be as widely read and traveled as he is prolific—the publicity sheet for the book notes that is his first collection since 2004, not counting the six other books he wrote or co-edited in the meantime.
He was not someone like Orwell (a comparison he himself nurtured and invited). Evelyn Waugh, who like the Hitch and myself, revered the Master, judged people on how sound they are on Wodehouse. Hitchens died late Thursday night after battling esophageal cancer.
He was Christopher Hitchens, unique and unduplicable. READ MORE _______Andrew Sullivan's Greatest Hitchens Memories Andrew remembers his dear friend and dedicates much of The Dish to celebrating the rich life of Christopher Hitchens, from the best tributes on the web, his favorite memory of him, his finest moments on TV, to an Auden poem Hitch once read to Andrew. "Before I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer a year and a half ago, I rather jauntily told the readers of my memoirs that when faced with extinction I wanted to be fully conscious and awake, in order to'do' death in the active and not the passive sense," Hitchens wrote recently in his final column for Vanity Fair.