Hitchens is dead. There have been far better obituary's written about him than I could ever aspire to. I just would like to say that he has been a strong influence on me for many years now. The first time I came across his writing was back in the early 1990's. I was in a waiting room somewhere, possibly a dentists, I was flicking through the magazines as you do when I came across a copy of Vanity Fair. I had never read the magazine previously as it was very expensive and I thought that it was a fashion mag. Anyway there was a photo of an attractive woman on the front so I picked it up and browsed through it. For some reason an article caught my eye. I can't remember what it was about but I was impressed by the writing style and the way the author expressed his thoughts. His name of course was Christopher Hitchens. In the years that followed I read nearly everything that Hitchens produced. As an essayist he was superb. His books were cutting, brave and incisive.
Hitchens was very influenced by Orwell, I loved his book "Orwells Victory". I recall that somewhere in the book Hitchens lamented that Orwell died an early death at age 50, never went to America where he could have received anti biotics that may have cured his tuberculosis. Hitchens imagined Orwell surviving into late old age and becoming a curmudgeonly old man who would have continued to dissect the world and say what he thought needed to be said. Hitchens did not imagine at the time that he too would die relatively early at age 62.