The life and work of author and journalist Christopher Hitchens has had a titanic effect on me over the last couple years. From the second I was introduced to his brilliant understanding of politics, literature, religion, and nearly everything other part of the human condition, I could almost feel my brain being rewired in the most refreshing possible ways. I love(d) the way Christopher Hitchens saw the world around him, and by absorbing as many of his words and as much of his intellect as humanly possible, I hope to see at least part of what Hitch did while he was still alive.
Ten months after his death, Christopher’s best friend, renowned novelist Martin Amis, was a guest on Charlie Rose in September 2012 where he was promoting his newest book Lionel Asbo. The conversation eventually turned towards Christopher, and when asked how the death of his best friend has affected his life Martin replied: “The death of Christopher Hitchens plays into [my renewed appreciation of life] because it’s a catastrophe that he died. But what happens is that your best friends, your peers, your oldest friends, bequeath to you–when they die–their love of life. And Christopher’s love of life was really intense. That’s why he never went to bed. And that’s why I like to think he died at the age of 70 [instead of 62] because his days were 4 hours longer than ours. But it becomes your solemn duty to love life in the way they no longer can.”
Earlier this week Charlie hosted Christopher’s widow, Carol Blue, along with Christopher’s longtime boss at VANITY FAIR, the magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Graydon Carter. The three gathered to discuss a collection of Christopher’s essays which were written during the course of his cancer treatment from the summer of 2010 until his death in December 2011. Entitled Mortality (Amazon), the writings provide a fascinating materialist insight into Hitch’s experience with cancer and his journey towards coming to terms with the end of his life. In their conversation with Charlie, both Blue and Carter reflect not just on the nature of the book, but mostly on the nature of Christopher himself.
The interview is an absolute treasure, and I would consider it essential viewing for anyone interested in how to live everyday like it was their last. Because there is no one on earth who did this better than Hitch himself. If you enjoy this interview then you will enjoy this other conversation Charlie had with Carol Blue HERE. For my favorite Christopher Hitchens stories you can also visit Christopher Hitchens on FEELguide.
TO WATCH CHARLIE ROSE’S INTERVIEW WITH CAROL BLUE AND GRAYDON CARTER FAST FORWARD TO THE 27:40 MARK.