I don’t have a lot of ‘favourites’ – I usually find such rankings to be overly reductive. I like many different kinds of things for different reasons, and any single one that I rank as #1 will be an inaccurate label. From the list of writers that I most admire and try to emulate, however, Christopher Hitchens sits among the upper echelon (so too, incidentally, does Greta Christina). He has a talent for wielding the English language the way an artist does a paintbrush – making the rendering of ideas into words beautiful and evocative far beyond mere semantics. He is the kind of writer who could use his words to so utterly excoriate you that you undergo an existential crisis, but to whom you would be grateful afterward for the experience. So, it was with great joy that I picked up my latest treasure from the framing store today:
I purchased this brilliant portrait from a San Francisco artist called Adrian Covert. Here is the description of the piece:
Hitchens is depicted making a point, while toasting his Johnny Walker Black & Perrier. He has what appears to be a halo behind his head, but that’s just superstition. His suit is designed using collage from the writings of Albert Einstein, Richard Dawkins, Salman Rushdie, David Hume, Mark Twain, and John Updike. The background is designed using collage from the King James Bible and the Holy Koran. For reasons both ethical and artistic, no books were harmed in the creation of this painting, or of these prints.
Hitch now proof-reads all my posts as I sit in my living room chair, looking over my shoulder and exhorting me to find ever-better ways of putting my thoughts into the language he loves so dear. Here’s a version without me in it: