Monday, June 21, 2010

Craig Brown on Christopher Hitchens

As previously noted, Private Eye doesn’t put its content online, so you can’t go to its website to read UK satirist Craig Brown’s merciless parody of Christopher Hitchens. I have never understood why Hitchens is regarded as a stylist: I like what he says but not the way he says it. He is almost always interesting, but his writing strikes me as overblown and self-regarding – and that is what Brown captures so brilliantly.

The piece begins:
I moved into Mart’s sock – where you lived was your “sock”. Your rug was your “hair”. Your knee was still your knee: we couldn’t think of another word for it. We called our penises our “willie winkies” and our shared lavatory “the bog”. There were a lot of brilliantly inventive word games of that kind.
There is much more in that vain. So three cheers for Vanity Fair, which reprints the whole thing in full here.


Paul said...

A brilliant parody, although the original is so like self-parody.

Stephen Stratford said...

Yep, that's what I have thought for a while. Hitchens's book reviews in the Atlantic over the last few years were what gave me pause - the judgements were well-argued but the phrasing was less well. And the whole "My Favourite Martin" love-in is just embarrassing. But he remains a hero for his bravery under fire.

Paul said...

Despite everything, yes.