Hitchens view-hallooing

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 23 14:05:50 MST 2003

LRB | Vol. 25 No. 2 dated 23 January 2003 | Stefan Collini

'No Bullshit' Bullshit
Stefan Collini

Orwell's Victory by Christopher Hitchens | Allen Lane, 150 pp, £9.99

(concluding paragraph of review)

The sight of Hitchens view-hallooing across the fields in pursuit of some 
particularly dislikable quarry has been among the most exhilarating 
experiences of literary journalism during the last two decades. He's 
courageous, fast, tireless and certainly not squeamish about being in at 
the kill. But after reading this and some of his other recent writings, I 
begin to imagine that, encountering him, still glowing and red-faced from 
the pleasures of the chase, in the tap-room of the local inn afterwards, 
one might begin to see a resemblance not to Trotsky and other members of 
the European revolutionary intelligentsia whom he once admired, nor to the 
sophisticated columnists and political commentators of the East Coast among 
whom he now practises his trade, but to other red-coated, red-faced riders 
increasingly comfortable in their prejudices and their Englishness - to 
Kingsley Amis, pop-eyed, spluttering and splenetic; to Philip Larkin, 
farcing away at the expense of all bien pensants; to Robert Conquest and a 
hundred other 'I told you so's. They would be good company, up to a point, 
but their brand of saloon-bar finality is only a quick sharpener away from 
philistinism, and I would be sorry to think of one of the essayists I have 
most enjoyed reading in recent decades turning into a 
no-two-ways-about-it-let's-face-it bore. I just hope he doesn't go on one 
hunt too many and find himself, as twilight gathers and the fields fall 
silent, lying face down in his own bullshit.

full: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n02/coll01_.html

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