Friday, December 16, 2011

Full of sound and fury

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS died. He passed away not quietly, as some expected from a man who had banned God to the lunatic bin, but enraged, an exhausted cobelligerent, allied with doctors who tried everything to prolong that which he played so often to be indifferent to.

He reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell, who carried more than just one secret under her bons mots. He was merciless, unpredictable, unfair most of the time. He has left lots of us, learning he was gone, suffering from aphasia. When he was alive we thought he talked too much. Now we come to the conclusion he said too little. The man could be unfair both in his hates and his loves. He disregarded both as soon as he came too close, not risking to be burned. His hatred towards the Clintons (“contemporary Macbeths”), Prince Charles (“Prince of Piffle”) or Mother Theresa reached pathological ceilings. His on (seldom) and off relationship with Gore Vidal (“loco”) is one of two angry spinsters. Having left behind the Wodehouse world, he chose to live in the United States which he lambasted with an equal ferocity. Nevertheless, he could also be equally touching discussing Graham Greene, Philip Larkin, Edward Said, Martin Amis, inter alia. His comments on world affairs were generally to the (acid) point.

Maybe this heir of Voltaire and the Enlightement wanted to over-stay, so that he could continue to wage war against the anti-intellectual tsunami which is engulfing Europe and America. The fact is that this contemporary Diogenes has no offspring and that the echo of the voice in the wilderness is fast ebbing away. The man who wrote “god is Not GREAT” will now be proven right or wrong. He is not coming back to share the outcome. Maybe he is currently talking to Nietzsche with whom he shared certain ideas if not the humor. Friedrich’s gain is our loss.

Good night, sweet Prince.

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