Monday, May 24, 2010

And another quote for the day ...

... from Decca Aitkenhead's interview with Christopher Hitchens, published this weekend in the Guardian:

Where's the point in engaging in a battle of ideas if you have no interest in being persuasive? "That seems like an invitation to soften the tone and be more agreeable." Doesn't he want to win the battle? "Sure." Why, then, did he tell an interviewer in 2001: "I don't really care whether people agree with me?" He looks momentarily surprised. "Oh, that's too bald. What I mean is that I'm not going to soften a case in order to make it more presentable. When I've flung down the pen, I want to be sure that I've made the strongest possible case I can make -- and also," he adds tellingly, "really had fun doing it."

The occasion for the interview is the publication of his new memoir, Hitch-22, which is definitely going on my Amazon Powell's Wish List.

I've never been able to work up anything like true hatred for the drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay. Although I frequently (and usually vehemently) disagree with him nobody, and I mean nobody, does polemic better. He's like some kind of mutant bastard child (and child prodigy) of William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal.

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