In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011
By JULI WEINER - VANITY FAIR
Updated: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 19:14:01 UTC
Farewell, great voice. Great voice of reason, of humanity, of humour. Great voice against cant, against hypocrisy, against obscurantism and pretension, against all tyrants including God. Farewell, great warrior. You were in a foxhole, Hitch, and you did not flinch. Farewell, great example to us all.
VANITY FAIR'S TRIBUTE
Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.
“Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centered and even solipsistic,” Hitchens wrote nearly a year ago in Vanity Fair, but his own final labors were anything but: in the last 12 months, he produced for this magazine a piece on U.S.-Pakistani relations in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, a portrait of Joan Didion, an essay on the Private Eye retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a prediction about the future of democracy in Egypt, a meditation on the legacy of progressivism in Wisconsin, and a series of frank, graceful, and exquisitely written essays in which he chronicled the physical and spiritual effects of his disease. At the end, Hitchens was more engaged, relentless, hilarious, observant, and intelligent than just about everyone else—just as he had been for the last four decades.
“My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,” he wrote in the June 2011 issue. He died in their presence, too, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. May his 62 years of living, well, so livingly console the many of us who will miss him dearly.
A selection of videos of Christopher Hitchens on our website can be found here. These are a combination of videos featuring him and videos submitted by others about him.
A great YouTube collection The Best of the Hitchslap
- - - Comments
NSS Conference: Challenging Religious Privilege in Public Life Saturday 22 September 2012, 10am to 5pm, London - Keynote speaker Richard Dawkins
- - The Clergy Project Comments
Press Release - New Executive Director Appointed
- - Portland Humanist Film Fest Comments
Join us for the third annual Portland Humanist Film Festival, which will present feature, documentary, narrative and animated films that give expression to the humanist approach to life, based on reason, science, and ethics. A precise film and speaker schedule will be announced in the coming months.
- - RichardDawkins.net Comments
Richard is on BBC Radio World Service this evening 16th July, around 21.20 British Summer Time (= 20.20 GMT