Literary Birthday – 13 April – Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens was born 13 April 1949, and died 15 December 2011.

13 Quotes from Christopher Hitchens

  1. I don’t think it’s possible to have a sense of tragedy without having a sense of humour.
  2. I have tried for much of my life to write as if I was composing my sentences to be read posthumously.
  3. I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn’t ever have to rely on the press for my information.
  4. What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.
  5. What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
  6. To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?
  7. How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.
  8. The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
  9. Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
  10. Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
  11. I try and write as if I am talking, and trying to engage the reader in conversation.
  12. Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and—since there is no other metaphor—also the soul.
  13. I wanted to write.

Christopher Hitchens was a British-American author and journalist. He contributed to The Atlantic, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate Magazine, and Vanity Fair. He was an author of twelve books and five collections of essays. His subject matter included politics, literature, and religion. His works included God Is Not Great and Hitch-22: A Memoir.

Source for image: Ari Armstrong, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons,_ATF_Party_2005.JPG

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 13th April 2013