Saturday, May 12, 2007

Kinsley on Hitchens

Michael Kinsley has a piece in the NYT Book Review, ostensibly on Christopher Hitchens's new book, but more on the author himself. It's quite good.

I grabbed a couple of Kinsley's delightful phrases and pasted them below. They're in a slightly hard-to-read color, because I hesitated to step on his lines -- they're better when you come across them in context. But if you aren't interested in reading the whole thing, just use your mouse to highlight the following couple of centimeters:

… he is a bit too quick to resort to French in search of le mot juste …

… the Hoover Institution or some other nursing home of the mind …

Reminder: you can read excerpts from Hitchens's book on Slate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kinsley's review is excellent reading. Worth following the link as you said it would be. He's probably right about Hitchens, but I still like Hitchens' sassy style and bon mots. His roast of Mother Theresa was a classic. On a panel at the LA Times festival of books this past Sunday, one of the religious apologists on the panel said that even if a non-believer one could enjoy the medieval buildings such as Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. Hitchens shot back that Sacre-Coeur is not medieval and was actually built in 1872 as a monument to the French army getting beaten by the Prussians because of the sinful ways of Paris. As far as Notre Dame goes eyewitnesses reported seeing Thomas Aquinas levitate himself and fly around Notre Dame after a voice spoke to him from a cross and told him he had done a good job on his book about theology. Bravo Hitchens! I've been trying to run down where Hitchins might have read that, and it may be that it came from G.K. Chesterton's book about Aquinas titled The Dumb Ox. Apparently Aquinas had a speech impediment and had trouble speaking and thus the "dumb" appelation. Thanks for the link to the Kinsley piece -- as you said worth the read.