I FINALLY GOT BURNED by Christopher Hitchens.
I’ve been able to stomach some of the Iraq justifications, and even kind of look past the “women aren’t funny” thing. But this one, from a final piece for Vanity Fair about Charles Dickens, is tough:
Opening his own memoir, the most inept fictional narrator of my generation showed that he was out of his depth by dismissing “all that David Copperfield kind of crap.” Mr. Holden Caulfield may one day be forgotten, but the man who stumbled across the little boy trapped in the sweatshop basement, and realized their kinship, will never be.
If you didn’t know, I’m kind of a fan of Holden Caulfield. I’m confident there are any number of more inept fictional narrators from Hitchens’ generation. And apparently Hitch never saw this pulp-style cover for “The Catcher in the Rye” guaranteeing that “you will never forget it.”
Let’s also note that in this same piece, he refers to Christmas as a “protracted obligatory celebration now darkening our Decembers.” If that gives you a better sense of where he’s coming from.
All that aside, the rest of the Hitchens piece is worth reading.
And, in the fashion of one of the
most inept greatest fictional narrators of Hitchens’ anyone’s generation, I can’t help, as I tell you this, but miss the guy a little bit.