Vale Christopher Hitchens

December 19, 2011 |

It is hard to keep up with the mass of testimonials, obituaries and reminiscences of the idiosyncratic, opinionated and outstandingly gifted writer.

An enquiring mind is always something to appreciate and applaud, particularly in these days where orthodoxy is given pride of place.  He was (almost invariably) a clear thinker who valued logic and honesty and abhorred cant.  Not to say he was always right and sometimes, thankfully not often, his own prejudices outran this ability to rationalise.  Even those billious outings were fun to read, if not appreciate as an exercise in analysis.  A good hater, perhaps too good sometimes.

But where he stands out in my humble opinion was as a brilliant wordsmith.  He wrote, like his hero George Orwell, precisely and clearly.  Short sharp sentences, getting to the guts of the issue and eschewing flowery overblown rhetoric.

The obituaries are found at the New York Times, The Irish times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Nicholas Shakespeare, The Weekly Standard, Slate and Slate again and Anne Applebaum at Slate, the New Republic,

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