He became a staff writer and editor for The New Statesman in the late 1970s and fell in with a literary clique that included Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, James Fenton, Clive James and Ian McEwan. The group liked to play a game in which members came up with the sentence least likely to be uttered by one of their number. Mr. Hitchens’s was “I don’t care how rich you are, I’m not coming to your party.”

“It’s glossing over all the unknowns for the sake of a quicker, cleaner solution,” he says. “It’s wrong to be so uniformly fatalistic so early on, especially with all the data emerging about the prospects for later-stage recovery.”

Mother and son, both lean, watchful and dark-haired, are like a pair of predatory reptiles incongruously housed with the fluffy, friendly animals. Their antagonism is its own kind of bond, which makes its fulfillment almost incomprehensibly terrible. [New Tilda Swinton movie review, in the NYT.]

Motivation: motivated by more than meets the eye; bear down and do whatever it takes to survive; reptilian, like the sword, only motivation is survival; how, what do I do to survive? Logic versus emotion; what about instinct? Tom always loved reptiles…

And why the hell isn’t my stuff being posted when I email it??? Grr. (Or should I say hssss?)


In his memoir, Hitch expressed regret that he never engaged in combat at arms, to fight the brave fight (a la Orwell in Spain). But his life and work demonstrated that HIS pen was mightier than any sword he might have held. The world mourns his loss today.