Christopher Hitchens

The New Oxonian

Christopher HitchensHERE is no reason to eulogize Christopher Hitchens except that, had he stuck around to read the tributes, some of what is being said might have amused him. So we will read each what the other writes knowing he would have said it better, except he probably wouldn’t say it at all.

Hitchens in many ways belongs rhetorically to another era, which is why the twentieth and twenty-first century, what little he lived in it, is privileged to have known him. His verbal style was self-conscious, but seemed effortless, driven by the “true wit” (what Alexander Pope described as “nature to advantage dressed”) that was perfected in Restoration and eighteenth-century England coffee houses and left Thames-side by the sober English migrants who came to America to escape the kind of ridicule his sort had represented back home. Hitchens’s choosing to live in…

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