Frances Stonor Saunders says alcohol, hard living and linguistic lust all combined to make Hitchens a compelling presence. Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Nicholas Shakespeare pays tribute to his friend Christopher Hitchens, a man who loved the English language as much as cigarettes and.
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Christopher Hitchens: a contrarian for whom radicalism was a style | Books | The Guardian
Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Contfarian for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens. From bestselling author and provocateur Christopher Hitchens, the classic guide to the bitchens of principled dissent and disagreement In Letters to a Young Contrarianbestselling author and world-class provocateur Christopher Hitchens inspires the radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, and angry young wo men of tomorrow.
Exploring the entire range of “contrary positions”–fro From bestselling author and provocateur Christopher Hitchens, the classic guide to the art of principled dissent and disagreement In Letters to a Young Contrarianbestselling author and world-class provocateur Christopher Hitchens inspires the radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, and angry young wo men of tomorrow.
Exploring the entire range of “contrary hitchns noble dissident to gratuitous nag–Hitchens hltchens the next generation to the minds and the misfits who influenced him, invoking such mentors as Emile Zola, Rosa Parks, and George Orwell. As is his trademark, Hitchens pointedly pitches himself contrariaj contrast to stagnant attitudes across the ideological spectrum.
No conrarian writer has matched Hitchesn understanding of the importance of disagreement–to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to hitcbens progress, to democracy itself. Paperbackpages. Published April 13th by Basic Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Letters to a Young Contrarianplease sign up. Likhesh Sharma It is because “what you think” that is things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what you used to believe for …more It is because “what you think” that is things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what you used to believe for example like people changed their mind about geocentrism but that would not make you a slave if Ideas.
But how you think or hitchnes decide what to believe determines whether your ideas, your mind is slave a tradition, book or authority or you are–as Hitchens wants to you be–a freethinker who is skeptic and cotrarian on logic and evidence for source of knowledge.
See 2 questions about Letters to a Young Contrarian…. Lists with This Book. Jan 07, Jacob J. Death hitchesn wrought a pernicious dent in the erudite and intellectual world; Hitchens will not be one to be soon forgotten, nor ever replaced but emulated, definitely. Let me stop you before you roll your eyes. Yes, I am providing my belated, unasked-for, and pedantic tribute to the late Hitch, but this is as appropriate of a forum as any to do so, right?
Indeed, I read this magnificent little collection of letters of advice written to no one in particular but everyone in modest and solemn re Death hath wrought a pernicious dent in the erudite and intellectual world; Hitchens will not be one to be soon forgotten, nor ever replaced contearian emulated, definitely.
Indeed, I read this magnificent little collection of letters of advice written to no one in particular but everyone in modest and solemn remembrance.
Instead of singing along to the Bad Romances and the Mmmbopiesor whatever you kids are listening to nowadays, I am obdurately testifying along: And that these hicthens are incompatible, completely incompatiblewith the worship of an unalterable celestial dictator; someone who can watch you while you sleep and convict you of thought crime, and whose rule cannot be challenged.
But… to make up for that rather horrible indictment, contrrian can be reassured that the entire cosmos is designed with you in mind. And that he has a plan for you, on the condition that you agree to be a serf. However, this is not strictly an anti-religious polemic like his acerbic, if slightly inferior god is Not Greatbut a multifaceted deconstruction of conventional wisdom and reverence. There are fringe views that deserve to be marginalized, and then there are dissenting views which need to be heeded, or at least considered.
Nothing Hitchens says can be shrugged off, and if one tries, they will end up looking even dumber than they did when they became recipients of his critical wit in the first place. Happily, the intellectual hitcbens mostly embraced this public intellectual, and realized his worth in a miscellany of areas. His reflections on literature specific pieces, or in generalhistory, travels, and encounters, are absolute treasures. One should envy the experiences of this man; well, most experiences.
Among the things to admire in him is his lack of hypocrisy. The day of his death, I heard more about his being known for his contrxrian of Mother Teresa than anything else in his distinguished career from the major cable news networks.
Letters to a Young Contrarian
X, the student, i. How happy I am that these letters were not exclusive to his students but how sad am I that I was not among them. Several brief correspondences with a hypothetical, representative student, whose responses are assumed, or left out, advise on what it is to be a contrarian.
It is not a matter of being the stand-out dissenter, but the nuanced thinker. Take advantage of your faculties and seek the truth out for yourself. Disputations are an essential part of crawling toward truth, but let us not get caught up in tautology. It does no good to say either something is true or it is not true. Both of those possibilities are true, and each party in a disagreement can infer as much.
Not everything is up for debate, however, as observational evidence cannot be reasonably misconstrued as falsehood, unless we disagree on what observation and evidence are. And around we go. Moss can be existential in practice. Rocks may very well be experiencing Nirvana. Thinking may cause discomfort, or unease, even unhappiness but that is no excuse to eschew it in favor of becoming a breathing inanimate object.
The evasion of verbal conflict is a silly thing. I thought trying to solve problems with words was a good thing, but now even that makes the tender-hearted cry and plead for peace and compromise.
My own bit of advice would be: Always state your case if you have one and if you are serious about it. When one engages in combative dialogue I say combative because vehemence in debate is no vice either it is important to know exactly whom with one is engaging. Go find a sparring partner. If not, tell me why I am wrong in thinking that argumentation is a common good. He knew there would be violent reaction and he did it anyway. This implicates him in the subsequent riots and murders.
We already have one victim of rape. Out of Context and Incorrect Citation: The problem is that, much different than rebellion for its own sake, Hitchens backs it all up with historical and anecdotal proof. I am told that my neutral face is a pissed-off face. I often appear uninterested often enough, I amin what other people are saying to me, or I am insufferable and condescending.
But when I am talking, especially to someone who may very well know more than me about any given subject, I go over each sentence that may escape my lips, in my head this also depends on my blood-alcohol level. I have been proven wrong before, and I have changed my mind about things of which I have not been proven wrong.
There is no shame in this, and nobody needs me to reassure them of that. What is shameful though, is holding a minority viewpoint and conceding to your detractors on that basis. Anticipated, if Unlikely, Outside Criticism: You quote Hitchens too much. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself hitcgens others. 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 contrariian own motives, and all excuses.
Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian – Telegraph
Do not live for others any more than you would expect them to live for you. I am saddened only in that there can be no more contributions to the world from the pen of the man who hltchens them. Methinks it is time to pour myself some Johnnie Walker Black neat in his dignified honor not to be construed as worship.
View all 12 comments. Mar 08, Petra Eggs rated it it was ok Shelves: Christopher Hitchens was my 5-star author hero. Everything he wrote I had to ration how much I read at a time so I could savour his writing, his pronouncements, his humour and his wisdom.
This book was but a pale shadow of his others and I couldn’t finish it.
I may one day pick it up again. Although Hitchens is often the star of his own books, he is able to put himself to one side to concentrate on the subject. Unfortunately in this one he is not just the star, but the elevated hero, and great as Christopher Hitchens was my 5-star author hero. Unfortunately in this one he is not just the star, but the elevated hero, and great hitcnens a writer he might have been, as a person he was no less flawed than the rest of us.
Perhaps more so, perhaps that is what made him so interesting. Recommended to Karl-O by: It is curious to see how Hitchens ended up being with Harris, Dawkins and Dennett in one camp, at least in the public imagination. I think it is crucial to flesh out the difference between the other three figures on one gitchens and Hitchens on the other. While the three champion though it is arguable how hitchene they adhere to empiricism, rationality and the spirit of science in general, Hitchens is in a different camp.
He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculatio It is curious to see how Hitchens ended up being with Harris, Dawkins and Dennett in one camp, at least in the contrariann imagination.
Christopher Hitchens: a contrarian for whom radicalism was a style
He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculations and sometimes even hearsay. These could be easily called unfounded by anyone who truly understands how science works let alone claim that it is the only solution to all our troubles and Hitchens doesn’t seem to have anything to say let alone care to reply.
He knows it very well himself though I’m not sure most of those who lump him with Dawkins or Harris do. The reason I enjoy reading Hitchens is not that he demonstrates rationally or empirically how the good life must be lived or what values are justifiable.