When, exactly, did Britain’s premier debauched intellectual jump the shark? My best guess: the series of articles Christopher Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair a few years back on America’s industrial-beauty complex. The magazine published pictures of the caustic Brit getting soapy in the shower, visiting the dentist for the first time, and learning to use a mirror while dressing himself—truly, it was edge-of-your-bidet stuff. Last month Hitch outdid himself by publishing a really large autobiography that is mostly about other people. And because he loves literature and very well may be insane, it is called Hitch-22. In its pages one will find a few references to Hitch getting it on with the boys at boarding school, Hitch making friends with other famous people, and Hitch loving life, Andrew W.K.-style. I confess I did not read all of it, because I have a short attention span and Hitchens wrote this doorstopper for people who are already dead. However, despite what’s happened to his quill, his tongue is still as sharp as a dagger. So watch the man speak and remember him for what he was.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS AND PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.