January 10, 2013

Lenin on Hitchens - you know which Hitchens

Richard Seymour has another book out - UNHITCHED: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens - and he has a post on it in pole position on his blog right now.  Here's a taste:
The benedictions on his death came from pundits and politicians, novelists and friends.  He is the only author I am aware of who went to his grave with the praise of both Bush and Blair.  For those who value such things, and Hitchens was one, it doesn't get better than that.  Far from being a cautionary tale, this is a success story: if you want to make it, follow Hitchens.

Yet, of course, this shower of money, fame and accolades largely coincided with his serious degeneration as a writer and intellectual.  Just as he was being celebrated for novelty and originality, he ceased to say anything that wasn't utterly conventional and bourgeois.  He was admired for his forthrightness and independence of thought just as he had become an outright propagandist for the Bush administration and some of its most discredited figures.  He cut the figure of some sort of dissident, despite his vitriolic attacks on the radical left of all persuasions.  He was thought eloquent and witty, just as he was becoming boorish, sexist, racist and sentimental.
My short attention span got the better of me and I keep flicking back and seeing other gems, like:
The predictably unpredictable opinions of a received-opinion-former?
Wonderful stuff! See the whole post on Lenin's Tomb.  Sheesh, I might even buy the book.


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