Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

Christopher_Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens ist am Donnerstag im Alter von 62 Jahren verstorben. Aus den Massen an Nachrufen habe ich ein paar Auszüge zusammengestellt:

Peter Hitchens:

The one word that comes to mind when I think of my brother is ‘courage’. By this I don’t mean the lack of fear which some people have, which enables them to do very dangerous or frightening things because they have no idea what it is to be afraid. I mean a courage which overcomes real fear, while actually experiencing it.

Salman Rushdie:

Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops. Christopher Hitchens, April 13, 1949-December 15, 2011.

Stephen Fry:

Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens. You were envied, feared, adored, reviled and loved. Never ignored. Never bested. A great and marvellous man

Tony Blair:

Christopher Hitchens was a complete one-off, an amazing mixture of writer, journalist, polemicist, and unique character. He was fearless in the pursuit of truth and any cause in which he believed. And there was no belief he held, that he did not advocate with passion, commitment and brilliance. He was an extraordinary, compelling and colourful human being whom it was a privilege to know.

Ian McEwan:

His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater’s famous phrase, he burned „with this hard gem-like flame“. Right to the end.

June Thomas:

Hitchens’ writing style defied editorial intervention. Consequently, he reduced editors to fact-checkers. He had a prodigious memory, but his head wasn’t just stuffed with lines of poetry and tables of arcane facts: Apparently, he could also recall chunks of prose from the New York Times more or less accurately. Shortly after the news of Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest in an airport men’s room broke, Hitchens filed the piece that for me best exemplifies the breadth of his interests and the completeness of his recall—it contained quotes from an obscure academic work, recollections of hilariously profane bathroom graffiti, remembered conversations with British politicians, and lines of satirical verse published decades earlier.

Graydon Carter:

Christopher was the beau ideal of the public intellectual. You felt as though he was writing to you and to you alone. And as a result many readers felt they knew him. Walking with him down the street in New York or through an airplane terminal was like escorting a movie star through the throngs.

Hannes Stein:

Kein Zweifel: Der Heilige, gesegnet sei Er, hat Christopher Hitchens sofort nach seiner Ankunft in der anderen Welt um ein Autogramm gebeten.

Jeffrey Goldberg:

I don‘t think he would mind my saying that I thank God for the privilege of having known him.

Tammy Haddad:

Last year I asked him if he would talk to a young writer, Graham Moore, who had just signed with Jonathan Karp at Hitch’s publisher, TWELVE. Hitch guided Moore through the publication of the best selling novel, The Sherlockian. During a book party for The Sherlockian at Vice President Biden’s home, Moore got to meet and thank Hitch for his mentoring. Despite serious health challenges, Hitch was determined to go and finally meet his protégé in person; and in the company of all who glitter in Washington no one twinkled more than Hitch, with Carol and his kids at his side.

Hugh Hewitt:

We spent a great deal of time discussing God, and I hope and pray I am correct in my views and that he can concede to me on that subject when we meet again.

NPR:

As to his early death, Hitchens told NPR he had been „dealt a pretty good hand by the cosmos, which doesn‘t know I‘m here and won‘t know when I‘m gone.“

Andrew Sullivan:

I‘d asked him last year to write a letter to the Immigration Services sponsoring me to finally become a permanent resident of the United States. Who better than my fellow Englishman immigrant of the last 25 years? A while later, he emailed:

“Safely in the U.S. mail. I managed to say that your faith had allowed you to extend a warm hand to so many of your fellow men, and then remolded that bit to make it sound a touch less close to the heart’s desire.

Brunch? Sunday? Smooch Hitch”

I responded,

“lol. many many many thanks. an honor. brunch sounds great. we tend not to be conscious till around noon, tho. xx a”

He replied:

“Dearest Andrew I always think of Sunday lunch as beginning at about 2.30 („a lavish and ruminative feast“, as Waugh says about elevenses). Want to come here?”

Yes, I do, Hitch. Yes, I do.

Without a Hitch – a pictorial eulogy of Christopher Hitchens.

Zum Abschluß ist hier noch sein Auftritt in der Talkshow Q&A, während seiner Promotour zu God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, zu sehen.

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