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Author Topic: Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)  (Read 867 times)
etoile noir
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« on: December 17, 2011, 02:43:23 AM »

In Memoriam, my courageous brother Christopher, 1949-2011  By Peter Hitchens
 
Last updated at 7:40 PM on 16th December 2011


  Loss: Peter Hitchens, right, describes his relationship with his late brother Christopher, left, as 'complex' but adds the pair got on better in the last few months than they had in 50 years height=339 Loss: Peter Hitchens, right, describes his relationship with his late brother Christopher, left, as 'complex' but adds the pair got on better in the last few months than they had in 50 years   And I have spent most of the day so far responding, with regrettable brevity, to the many kind and thoughtful expressions of sympathy that I have received, some from complete strangers. 
 


 Strident atheist intellectual, author and journalist Christopher Hitchens dies, aged 62, after battle with cancer
RIGHTMINDS: Christopher Hitchens: the moral power of polemical fury, writes HYWEL WILLIAMS 
Brotherly love: Peter, left, and Christopher, right, play in the sand during a holiday in Devon in the fifties height=294
Brotherly love: Peter, left, and Christopher, right, play in the sand during a holiday in Devon in the fifties
And in Scotland in 1954: Peter says his brother was courageous, often standing up for him against school yard bullies height=361
And in Scotland in 1954: Peter says his brother was courageous - a trait to be envious of
It is certainly raw. Last week I saw my brother for the last time in a fairly grim hospital room in Houston, Texas. He was in great pain, and suffering in several other ways I will not describe. But he was wholly conscious and in command of his wits, and able to speak clearly.
 

We both knew it was the last time we would see each other, though being Englishmen of a certain generation, neither of us would have dreamed of actually saying so. We parted on good terms, though our conversation had been (as had our e-mail correspondence for some months) cautious and confined to subjects that would not easily lead to conflict. In this I think we were a little like chess-players, working out many possible moves in advance, neither of us wanting any more quarrels of any kind.
  Journey: Peter, right, says he is still baffled by how far he and his brother came from 'the small, quiet, shabby world of chilly, sombre rented houses and austere boarding schools' height=286
Journey: Peter, right, says he is still baffled by how far he and his brother came from 'the small, quiet, shabby world of chilly, sombre rented houses and austere boarding schools'

But alas, it never happened. He never went home and now never will. Never, there it is, that inflexible word that trails close behind that other non-negotiable syllable, death. Even so, we did what we could in Houston, as the doctors, the nurses, the cleaners, and who knows who else, bustled in and out.
  Early days: Christopher stands outside the offices of the New Statesman where he developed a fierce reputation as a left-wing writer in the 1970s height=379 Early days: Christopher stands outside the offices of the New Statesman where he developed a fierce reputation as a left-wing writer in the 1970s    Changing camps: Christopher, right, with former British prime minister Tony Blair in Toronto last year, supported the Iraq war, much to the shock of his left-wing political friends height=371 Changing camps: Christopher, right, with former British prime minister Tony Blair in Toronto last year, supported the Iraq war, much to the shock of his left-wing political friends 


  Talking heads: Peter, right, wishes to thank the many who have sent their kind wishes and expressed their sympathy for him and his family height=286
Talking heads: Peter, right, wishes to thank the many who have sent their kind wishes and expressed their sympathy for him and his family
He would always rather fight than give way, not for its own sake but because it came naturally to him. Like me, he was small for his age during his entire childhood and I have another memory of him, white-faced, slight and thin as we all were in those more austere times, furious, standing up to some bully or other in the playground of a school we attended at the same time.


We got on surprisingly well in the past few months, better than for about 50 years as it happens. At such times one tends to remember childhood more clearly than at others, though I have always had a remarkably clear memory of much of mine. I am still baffled by how far we both came, in our different ways, from the small, quiet, shabby world of chilly, sombre rented houses and austere boarding schools, of battered and declining naval seaports, not specially cultured, not book-lined or literary or showy but plain, dutiful and unassuming, we took the courses we did. 





And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started

These words I love because I have found them to be increasingly and powerfully true. In my beginning, as Eliot wrote elsewhere in the Quartets, is my end. Alpha et Omega.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2075133/Christopher-Hitchens-death-In-Memoriam-courageous-sibling-Peter-Hitchens.html#ixzz1gkgpLgLD
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 01:33:20 PM by etoile noir » Report to moderator   Logged
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