Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Genocidal Imagination of Christopher Hitchens

"In "Letters to a Young Contrarian", Hitchens urges his young reader to live 'at a slight angle to society,' which means to be idiosyncratic rather than tendentious. This contrarianism is a fetish, and it is one that encases in amber the burning polemical zeal of a former radical, a soixante-huitard. In the wake of a detumescent revolutionary fervor, and with the associated political vision largely gone, we are left with an opportunistic polemicising in which no matter how much one's opinion alters, it remains permanently in opposition, permanently contrarian. And this delivers the hammering Hitchensian irony in which the most consummately bourgeois opinion acquires the mould and fashion of resistance.."