Christopher Hitchens on His Cancer


Christopher Hitchens writes in Vanity Fair of his cancer. A snippet:

I am badly oppressed by a gnawing sense of waste. I had real plans for my next decade and felt I'd worked hard enough to earn it. Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read—if not indeed write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: sentimentality and self-pity. Of course my book hit the best-seller list on the day that I received the grimmest of news bulletins, and for that matter the last flight I took as a healthy-feeling person (to a fine, big audience at the Chicago Book Fair) was the one that made me a million-miler on United Airlines, with a lifetime of free upgrades to look forward to. But irony is my business and I just can't see any ironies here: would it be less poignant to get cancer on the day that my memoirs were remaindered as a box-office turkey, or that I was bounced from a coach-class flight and left on the tarmac? To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?

Whole thing, well worth reading, here.

Michael Moynihan just reviewed Hitchens' memoir, Hitch-22.

Hitchens participated in this 2003 Reason symposium about whether freedom could be spread by the point of a gun. And here is his pre-9/11 2001 Reason interview where he broke ranks with his Nation comrades and talked fondly of Margaret Thatcher. And below is his dramatic reading of Tom Lehrer's Christmas Song at Reason's Very Secular Christmas Party in 2007.

All of us at Reason wish him a full and speedy recovery.