The Hitch: an attempt at understanding

By Michael Weiss.

For someone so obviously self-conscious, the consensus runs, Christopher Hitchens is quite parsimonious in giving a piece of himself.  Even from laudatory reviews come a mildly clucking sound: It’s all well and good that you’re chums with Martin, Salman and Ian, but you haven’t really put yourself on the couch or “opened up,” have you? Rather hostile to psychoanalysis for a self-described “orthodox Freudian,” aren’t we?

Not long after Hitch-22‘s publication, a friend who’s quite sympathetic to Christopher and was preparing to interview him on one the early legs of his book tour, rang me up and said that he was having some difficulty taking the full measure of the man from these pages. One of the most widely quoted and dissected public intellectuals on the planet is also one of the most inscrutable. Did I have any special insights as a former student and current friend and colleague? I did my best to oblige and the ensuing conversation led me to record some of my observations.

"One of these days I’m going to be found out," is what James Cameron (the radical journalist, not the overrated filmmaker) evidently repeated to himself every day of his professional career. The true jigsaw puzzle of the Hitch may never be solved, but herewith I offer my own attempt at reconstruction… Read More>>


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