Living Dyingly: A Review of Mortality by Christopher Hitchens. Donald Stansbury. Hitchens, Christopher. Mortality. New York: Twelve, Print. An avowed. by Christopher Hitchens. Contents. One - Putting It Mildly. Two - Religion Kills . Three - A Short Digression on the Pig; or, Why Heaven Hates Ham. Mortality is Christopher Hitchens's stark and powerful memoir on his own suffering after being diagnosed with the esophageal cancer that would eventually take his life, as well as the etiquette of illness and wellness. The following is an excerpt from the book's first chapter.
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Editorial Reviews. medical-site.info Review. site Best Books of the Month, September Mortality - Kindle edition by Christopher Hitchens. Download it. PDF - Mortality. On June 8, , while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir, Hitch, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with. medical-site.info Vol 14 January Cancer and Society. Mortality . Christopher Hitchens,. Atlantic Books, Pp £ ISBN
To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read — if not indeed to write — the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: Why not? Myself, I love the imagery of struggle. I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient.
You feel swamped with passivity and impotence: It runs like this, and is extremely easy to comprehend:. A petition that the laws of nature be suspended in favor of the petitioner; himself confessedly unworthy.
Everybody can see the joke that is lodged within this entry: The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right.
Half-buried in the contradiction is the distressing idea that nobody is in charge, or nobody with any moral authority. The call to prayer is self-cancelling. Indeed, this daily attrition of bodily dignity, which bleeds into an attrition of character, is hard even for Hitch to intellectualize, try as he might:.
Most despond-inducing and alarming of all, so far, was the moment when my voice suddenly rose to a childish or perhaps piglet-like piping squeak.
It then began to register all over the place, from a gruff and husky whisper to a papery, plaintive bleat. And at times it threatened, and now threatens daily, to disappear altogether. I stood, frozen, like a silly cat that had abruptly lost its meow. I used to be able to stop a New York cab at thirty paces.
I could also, without the help of a microphone, reach the back row and gallery of a crowded debating hall. Deprivation of the ability to speak is more like an attack of impotence, or the amputation of part of the personality. All the rituals and etiquette of conversation, from clearing the throat in preparation for the telling of an extremely long and taxing joke to in younger days trying to make my proposals more persuasive as I sank the tone by a strategic octave of shame, were innate and essential to me.
I have never been able to sing, but I could once recite poetry and quote prose and was sometimes even asked to do so. And timing is everything: Detection and treatment often work more slowly and gropingly, from the outside in. The alien had colonized a bit of my lung as well as quite a bit of my lymph node.
And its original base of operations was located—had been located for quite some time—in my esophagus. My father had died, and very swiftly, too, of cancer of the esophagus. I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me.
Rage would be beside the point for the same reason. Instead, I am badly oppressed by the gnawing sense of waste. Will I really not live to see my children married?
To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read—if not indeed to write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger?
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