December 22, 2011 |
As fans of the late Christopher Hitchens cycle through the five stages of grief, it's interesting to see which of his opinions can still inspire the kind of anger that is unlikely to ever fade into acceptance. There are, of course, the obvious candidates: his characterization of Bill Clinton as "a rapist" or his vilification of Mother Teresa as "a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud. " There is also his oh so chivalrous shout-out to the Dixie Chicks, whom he called "fat slugs" (or "slags" or "sluts" depending on your source)
December 17, 2011 |
I met Christopher Hitchens only once. It was in 2007, at BookExpo America, the publishing industry trade show, where we both were on a panel about the ethics of book reviewing. Hitchens, who died Thursday of esophageal cancer at age 62, dismissed the very premise of the discussion — ethics, he suggested, was a matter of action more than intention. To illustrate the point, he told the story of someone who had reviewed one of his early efforts badly; when, sometime later, Hitchens was asked to review a book by the same writer, he jumped at the chance.
December 16, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Friday. Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P. ( Los Angeles Times ) Joe Simon, the creator of Captain America, has also died. ( Los Angeles Times ) The surviving Beach Boys will reunite and tour and record a new album. ( Wall Street Journal ) In Israel, "The Hangover," becomes "Before the Wedding, We Stop in Vegas. " ( Los Angeles Times ) Demi Moore says she doesn't have immediate plans to change her Twitter handle: @mrskutcher.
December 16, 2011 |
The BBC's obituary of author and essayist Christopher Hitchens who died Thursday notes that he once resolved to visit "a country less fortunate than [his] own" at least once a year. That took him to places such as Poland, Argentina and Greece in the 1970s and more recently Uganda, Romania, Nicaragua and Iraq. It's an interesting quest. Hitchens, of course, wrote prolifically about these places with provocative fervor, usually in the form of essays or commentaries on politics, political leaders, etc. As book critic David L. Ulin writes in this L.A. Times appreciation : "That was the thing about Hitchens - agree with him or not, it was impossible not to be stirred by his willingness to stake out unpopular positions, to say things that others weren't willing to say. " His works also contain deftly written portraits of what he saw on his travels, little gems that have always made me a bit of a Hitchens fan. Here's an excerpt from a 2008 Vanity Fair story about Britain's exclusive Eton school in which he gives his homeland a stony stare: "One summer morning I took myself off to have a look round the old place.
December 16, 2011 |
Writer Christopher Hitchens, 62, died Thursday of pneumonia, a complication of the esophageal cancer he battled for more than a year. Hitchens was best known for his essays about politics and faith. An atheist, he famously debated religion with practicing Christians, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins. But in the last year of his life he also distinguished himself by writing about his cancer, penning a National Magazine Award-winning series of columns for the magazine Vanity Fair.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2011 |
Christopher Hitchens, the engaging and enraging British-American author and essayist whose polemical writings on religion, politics, war and other provocations established him as one of his generation's most robust public intellectuals, has died. He was 62. Hitchens died Thursday night at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said his literary agent, Steve Wasserman. Hitchens was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer in June 2010, when his memoir, "Hitch-22," hit the bestseller lists.