“Morning of the biopsy, wake and say whatever happens
this is the last day of my old life. No pretense of youth or youthfulness anymore. From now on an arduous awareness.”
Mortality is the last book by Christopher Hitchens. It is a thin black volume mostly constituted by writing that previously appeared in Vanity Fair. In fact the foreword was written by the editor of the magazine, Graydon Carter. Hitchens displays an undiminished commitment to kicking against the pricks, up to the last minute of his conscious life. Early in his career, he railed against right wing extremists, later those on the left. Finally it was the religious fundamentalists who took the full brunt of his intellectual vigour. Of course, it didn’t help that some extremist Christians publicly announced that his eosophogal cancer was an act of God.You know because he spoke for atheism or rather antitheism, the categorical opposition to the belief in any and all deities.
He writes powerfully about being suddenly stricken by cancer and all of its implications – how people treat him differently, the terrible devastation of his body, and trying to find a balance between being ready for death while ferociously fighting for life. There is also lots about his life, appetites and passions.
Mortality is unflinchingly funny, dark, witty and unsentimental.