December 16, 2011



Nicely stated, Mr. Sarvas. I cried last night as well. Didn't think that was possible for me after the age of 8, but, like you say, the occasion is worthy of tears.

Difficult now to add anything more than so many borrowed clichés that have already been rephrased & printed in praise or remembrance of the late great Christopher Hitchens. It's been a bittersweet day as I peruse the many clever eulogies & obituaries online. No matter what I read about the man, it only serves to substantiate my feeling that we are all unworthy of the task of describing him with any sense of completeness, any notion of surety that our words are correct when his fresh ghost surely hovers between paragraphs ready to edit our silly babbling, illuminating & thus annihilating our hitherto unrealized ignorance with a perfectly incisive Hitchslap.

I am proud that I celebrated his beautiful prose while he lived, that I own most of his books, that I have at least twice read almost every available published word he has written, that I am not one of the johnnies-come-lately who finds suddenly that the occasion of a death is the appropriate trigger for a celebration of the man's brilliance.

DailyHitchens.com has been helpful in cultivating & maintaining my loving relationship with Hitch's words & efforts to make the world a better place for the godless among us.

I consider

to be the finest memoir I've ever read. Decouple the politics, the self-regard, the double-wick'd candle burning, or the whatever from his facility with English -- if nothing else, Hitchens was a superb writer, a marvelous voice seemingly effortlessly yet tirelessly adding to the numinous aspects of the gift of articulated expression.

If I ever publish something half as well-informed and one tenth as beautiful as virtually any given paragraph of speech uttered by Hitch during one of his many wondrously enlightening debate performances of the last several years, I'll consider my life fulfilled.

Hitchens makes me want to be a better person. I join his effort to condemn god[s], to kill religion, and to sustain a better, more logical source of goodness & ethics for the future of our species. His legacy inspires my efforts, as a US Army soldier and as a journalist & writer, to perpetuate a similar legacy of bravery, and to ensure that the Hitchens legacy becomes his immortality.


You are right to connect the loss of Hitchens and Tony Judt.

In such a crazy and sometimes shallow world, it's gratifying to know that writers can be so sharply missed.


Cheers Hitch indeed.

John Verity

John Banville on Hitchens:


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