Quote of the Day | 1224

Hitchens doesn’t so much review books as exploit them. They are, to borrow I. A. Richards’s phrase, machines to think with. When he quotes, it isn’t to illustrate a book’s particular quiddity but to advance an argument of his own or to pillory perceived deficiencies in its style or logic. To have one’s work “reviewed” by Christopher Hitchens was invariably a mixed blessing, since he frequently conveys the impression that he himself could have done a much better job and that he, in fact, knows the subject in far greater depth than the obviously well-meaning but just slightly deficient author. When Hitchens does pass out compliments, they tend to be briefly adjectival, along the lines of “fine” or “brilliant”, conveying a slightly episcopal mixture of approbation and condescension.

Michael Dirda, ‘Arguably Hitchens’

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[x]#9613 fan zaterdag 24 december 2011 @ 12:50:39