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December 17, 2011

The Oblivion Express

Maverick Philosopher: On Hitchens and Death For what he takes to be the illusion of immortality, Hitch substitutes literary immortality.
"As an adult whose hopes lay assuredly in the intellect, not in the hereafter, he concluded, 'Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and -- since there is no other metaphor -- also the soul.'" But to the clearheaded, literary immortality is little more than a joke, and itself an illusion. Only a few read Hitch now, and soon enough he will be unread, his books remaindered, put into storage, forgotten. This is a fate that awaits all scribblers but a tiny few. And even they will drink the dust of oblivion in the fullness of time.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 17, 2011 9:18 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

A NY Times article confirms that in his waning days, Hitchens indeed grasped at one of the surrogate gods of secularism, literature. But literature that doesn’t bear on Truth is ultimately as silly as a child’s game, only not nearly as important.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at December 17, 2011 10:23 AM

Three things abide: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. I pray Hitchens found this truth in his readings. It is an awful life to not know how much we are loved by God.

Posted by: twolaneflash at December 17, 2011 11:31 AM

Hell is being separated from God.

Before or after death.

Posted by: Rocky at December 17, 2011 1:52 PM

I like to look deep into the eyes of the atheists I encounter and tell them the universe being infinitely malleable we get to make of it anything we wish. They usually like this idea but don't like the ramification. I tell them that if you believe in nothing that, in the end, is precisely what you will have. Eternity alone with what you most loved is beautiful if that is the Deity but terrible beyond imagining if you loved only yourself.

Rocky is right.

Posted by: John Hinds at December 17, 2011 3:51 PM

Dr. Johnson observed that if you do not have courage none of the other virtues are worth spit. Hitchens had a rare courage. Michael Totten described him in action in Lebanon some time back, where it was a miracle he was not assassinated on the spot for standing his ground. It will be less a miracle than that for him to be in heaven.

Posted by: james wilson at December 17, 2011 7:22 PM

I'm sorry Wilson, but the miracle of Hitch being in heaven just isn't in the cards. I regret that too, because I loved his intellect and impish humor. Alas, he was a self-centered soul separated from God by his own foolishness.

Posted by: Casca at December 17, 2011 8:03 PM

How many people out there predicting Christopher Hitchens' damnation could stand to face their own likely fate after death? If they were being, for one moment, honest with themselves?

Posted by: Erich Schwarz at December 17, 2011 11:45 PM

I'm not about to predict Hitchy's (or anyone else's) damnation since that is a matter between him and God. But if we were having a betting pool on the outcome, I'd have to go with the available evidence, and Hitchy seemed determined to head in that direction. A tragedy, but then every lost soul is a tragedy. (And to answer Erich's question, I am prepared to face my fate after death, because I have already been told what it will be, and His promise is all that matters.)

Posted by: Grizzly at December 18, 2011 9:00 AM

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