March 25, 2011

By Jeremy Harding

"I heard a few bars of Chris Corner’s song ‘I Salute You Christopher’ a day or so before the new IAMX album, Volatile Times, was released. The song, which appears on the album, is subtitled ‘Ode to Christopher Hitchens’:
I salute you Christopher
I salute your life
How you played the dice …

Read More (London Review of Books)

The song is on YouTube..


Selene said...

Falterer, be sure and read what CH has written about Orwell and plaster saints.I think that Harding is trying to get a dig in at CH though, for even having "fans." So what if he does. Most great writers and thinkers do. And CH's writing has touched many lives over the years. There is a difference between intelligent people admiring him for his thinking and writing and being a part of celeb-dom, or a brand.

Falterer said...

About the article's last sentence: "That's surely the worst of both worlds..." It's an endophoric expression, like this one, referring to the previous sentence in the text. The author's saying Christopher shouldn't have to suffer premature canonization. I agree with that much.

Your point about the contradiction in the "a la carte politics" paragraph is the one Harding himself is making by calling it an "enduring puzzle". But he's puzzled needlessly, because Hitchens hasn't abandoned the whole intellectual framework of Marx, but rather he's abandoned socialism as a political tool. His 2009 Atlantic piece, "The Revenge of Karl Marx" should have made that clear, if not the multiple statements he's made about being a non-socialist Marxist.

Another inaccuracy in the same sentence: Hitchens is no imperialist. For Hitchens, Iraq was not about imposition for the sake of influence, but intervention for the sake of ending and preventing humanitarian disaster. Whether he grossly miscalculated the effects of intervention does not change his reason for advocating intervention, which was not imperialism.

Selene said...

Felix, this piece was written by a member in good standing of the radical left circle jerk AKA the London Review of Books. Your aren't meant to understand the clever jabs and barbs. If you get a chance, be sure and get a copy of "Christopher Hitchens and His Critics, Terror, Iraq and the Left" ed. by Thomas Cushman. It has a great afterward essay by C Hitchens that will explain it all.

UnPopularYouTube said...

Christopher Hitchens on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher when his book "Letters to a Young Contrarian" came out. The keywords of the video don't include Hitchens so many may not have seen it:
pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mHAobjCPoc&feature=related
pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jinJHIkd5r4&feature=related

Lavonnekeever said...

I couldn't even get through it..

Félix Soucy said...

This article is poorly written and extremely unclear, especially the last paragraph.

"[..]a working intellectual framework – for instance socialism – isn’t something you abandon for reasons of principle, yet there’s more than a germ of principle, or the wish for principle, in a quarrel with crude realpolitik that ends up as a sterling defence of imperial adventure."

Let me get this straight: The author of this article doesn't think one abandons socialism for principled reasons, but he thinks principle is involved in the defense of something he calls imperialism? This doesn't make sense.

"And a large following, though Hitchens might want to exclude Chris Corner on grounds that he’s already stuck him in the past tense[..]."

The first clause lacks a predicate, which makes this sentence incomplete.

"That’s surely the worst of both worlds[..]"

What is?

Seriously, what is all this supposed to mean? Is the author of this article fucking with the reader on purpose?

Selene said...

And one more thing--read the chapter on Edward Said in Hitch22, and you'll know a major source of much of this garbage. Most of the self-proclaimed radical left have become little more than groupies for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Selene said...

Well Anon, this time he's quite a smarmy little shit, like all the other hit men the LRB has sent after Hitchens. I also suspect that the wretched Wilmer woman didn't like what CH wrote about the Israel Lobby/Neocon Cabal that they're so obsessed about, because from what I understand, they never print a word she doesn't approve. I think it's a compliment to CH, because if that bunch praised him, he would certainly be doing something wrong.
It's like putting scent under a foxhound's nose, mention Hitchens and the vicious lemmings on the left simply can't help themselves.

Anon said...

Jeremy Harding is an editor - and quite a good one too. His Hitchens piece is rather drab, certainly, but he's generally no idiot.

Selene said...

They will never forgive him for his so called betrayal of the left. But what they don't get is that, like Orwell, he didn't leave, they did. And since the break, CH has only become more celebrated and widely read. It must be killing the piglets who feast off the Wilmer tit.

1stLt.L.Diablo said...

There are those who write with a certain lubrication between the each word and each conceit, and there are those who make it so painful for the reader to get from beginning to end that one is very likely to genuinely despise the author by the time the last sentence is suffered through.

Hitchens is, of course, the former and this Harding asshole is the latter. Jeremy needs a fucking editor. I am all for critiquing the Hitch-- but jesus christ can you do it with some style and coherence? I'd rather eat nails than read that shit again.

Atri Bor said...

It's hard to listen to listen to a eulogy while struggling to hopes that he will make it through this. It's a touching song. Nina Nastasia has dedicated some of her music to Christopher, too. I'm sure there are and will be more.


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir