Frances Stonor Saunders says alcohol, hard living and linguistic lust all combined to make Hitchens a compelling presence. Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Nicholas Shakespeare pays tribute to his friend Christopher Hitchens, a man who loved the English language as much as cigarettes and.

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This leads to all manner of subjective opinion dressed up as timeless law, as well as a number of striking contradictions. If not, tell me why I am wrong in thinking that argumentation is a common good. There’s just too much to be hiitchens away from this little gem of a book.

Thinking may cause discomfort, or unease, even unhappiness but that is no excuse to eschew it in favor of becoming a breathing inanimate object.

There’s probably no political commentary I enjoy reading or watching, for that matter more than that of Christopher Hitchens. The mark of a great writer, even if only a writer, at that. There’s no stone unturned intellectually, verbally, hell- geographically. Furthermore, some of the anecdotes not very interesting or are basic, some being on the level of name-dropping.

Pages to import images to Wikidata Wikipedia articles jitchens style issues from August All articles with style issues. Arguably by Christopher Hitchens at the Telegraph Bookshop. More By and About This Author. I think it is crucial to flesh out the difference between the other three figures on one hand and Hitchens on the other.

Christopher Hitchens: a contrarian for whom radicalism was a style

Let me stop you before you roll your eyes. He was so funny, Rushdie said, that you would be doubled up on the floor, asking him to stop. Hitchens acknowledges the embarrassment of presenting himself as a role model and the absurdity ccontrarian proffering a guide on how to be different.

Letters to a Young Contrarian [ Yes, I am providing my belated, unasked-for, and pedantic tribute to the late Hitch, but this is as appropriate of a forum as any to do so, right? Noted how he worked into a sentence the Shakespearean hitches I memorized in Poetry “trouble deaf heavens with my bootless cries”. As is his trademark, Hitchens pointedly pitches himself in contrast contradian stagnant attitudes across the ideological spectrum.


Now that is the true mark of the contrarian. View all 3 comments.

Cover of the first edition. This book would be us This was a really inishgtful and engaging book. That’s the hitch and not even the Hitch can argue his way out of it. Hitchens’ greatest fault was his failure to truly understand that he was part of a particular tribe and to truly transcend that tribe. I am sifting through his points, and think that I see some of what he is arguing a bit differently.

The book is funny, lively, infuriating, challenging and mind-massaging by turns, and I am giving it the highest recommendation to all healthily curious and thinking persons, as well as to anyone who can’t seem to put down the vacuous vampire romances that require use of an infinitesimally small part of the brain. Although Rilke was ostensibly passing on advice to an aspiring poet, the real subject of his epistolary prose was himself.

However, this is not strictly an anti-religious polemic like his acerbic, if slightly inferior god is Not Greatbut a multifaceted deconstruction of conventional wisdom and reverence. History’s least deserving Nobel Peace Prize recipient was forced to respond to Hitchens’s proposal, and that alone could have made The Trial of Henry Kissinger the standout Hitchens text of the year.

Christopher Hitchens: a contrarian for whom radicalism was a style | Books | The Guardian

The surface treatment of nearly everything can give the impression of hidden depth to the unwary, ccontrarian the ultimate impression left by this book is one of shallowness. I have the feeling this would be a good introduction to this fascinating character of contrarian history.

What is shameful though, is holding a cojtrarian viewpoint and conceding to your detractors on that basis. But there are times when that innate oppositional streak seems purely knee-jerk [ This is one of those books I think everyone should read.


Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. In both cases, the book fails. See 2 questions about Letters to a Young Contrarian…. One should envy the experiences of this man; well, most experiences. A confrarian on language. Death hath wrought a pernicious dent in the erudite and intellectual world; Hitchens will not be one to be soon forgotten, nor ever replaced but emulated, definitely.

Jan 15, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is my third read of this book and I really won’t be exaggerating when I say that I look forward to many future readings.

Books by Christopher Hitchens. To say that Christopher Hitchens is a contrarian is like calling Napoleon a soldier. I think Hitchens sees himself as a classical man of letters, but also concerns himself a little too much with sparring with people and crafting his own public image.

Feb 23, Gary rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This book tells the story of the men and women of Fighter Command who worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout Britain to thwart the Nazis. That’s not to say he didn’t believe in the causes he espoused, but that he committed the vanity of falling in love with radicalism as a style. I loved Hitch before Iraq 2. Letters to a Young Contrarian Cover of the first edition.

Hitchens examines the fine points of questioning all authority, whether it be statist, political party, religious, the media, and the masses; no dogma goes unchallenged. I loved reading this book. In itself that is no bad thing, but the master-student dynamic means that the result is inevitably self-congratulatory.

Hitchens is unable to keep his own obnoxiousness from ruining what could have been a decent book. KevinR Ky, re-posted with slight fixes in The influence of many years spent in America talking to and often down to Americans also gave his performance a kind of Barnum quality: