20 January 2022, The Tablet

Coruscating clarity

Coruscating clarity

Christopher Hitchens
Photo: Alamy/Zuma, Nancy Kaszerman


A Hitch in Time: Writings from the London Review of Books
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Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went
Wrong, and Why He Still Matters
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Christopher Hitchens was one of the great journalists of his generation. For all his drunkenness and air of general dissolution (according to a New Yorker profile, Hitchens smoked even while in the shower), he prided himself on turning out “at least a thousand words of printable copy every day”. Given that many a writer comes on more like Flaubert – spending the morning inserting a comma, and the afternoon taking it out again – that’s a bigger achievement than it sounds. Kingsley Amis once said that Hitchens was a better talker than writer. Well, no one knew more about good writing than Amis père. Still, Hitchens’ journalism, reams of which has been collected in one hefty book after another, is satisfying enough to sustain more than one rereading.

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