Today the world has lost its greatest rhetorician and I’ve lost a hero. The following is an excerpt from a get-well letter I sent Christopher Hitchens on March 31, 2011. I often disagreed with his views, but few writers ever expressed themselves with more style. Christopher Hitchens, cheers.
Dear Mr. Hitchens,
… I admire the wit and verbal bravura of your writing and speaking. … You’ve become an inspiration. The stylishness and music of your prose; your charisma, energy, presence, and magnetism; the intellect and erudition you display when provoked by a debate opponent; the way every one of your answers sounds like it was pre-scripted as the rousing final speech of a Hollywood courtroom drama, building in a great crescendo toward a devastating climax.
Thank you for bringing us so much joy, entertainment, and laughter and for modeling for us what a public intellectual in this age can be. May you recover quickly and fully, and may you live long and continue to share your brilliant writing and warm humanity with the world. The world is a better place with you in it.