Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Show him the money


Christopher Hitchens explains the strongest motivation for writers:

Why did you choose to write a memoir?
I suppose the effect of becoming 60 on me was stronger than I thought it was going to be. I took it quite heavily and began to review my life a lot more than I had before.

Did you write the book for money?
Of course, I do everything for money. Dr. Johnson is correct when he says that only a fool writes for anything but money. It would be useful to keep a diary, but I don’t like writing unpaid. I don’t like writing checks without getting paid.

I trust you answer the e-mail of your friends at no charge.
I haven’t got to the point yet where phone calls and e-mails are billable, but I am working on it. That would be happiness defined for me. What I’m hoping is to get a 900 number, so I can tell all my friends, “Call me back on my 900 number: 1-900-HITCH22.” I can talk for a long time.

But who would want to listen?
That would be the 900-number test.

Ann Althouse focuses on the interview questions concerning the suicide of Hitchen’s mother. I think she missed one possible explanation for Hitchens’ answer. If a man does not believe in an afterlife, could he ever see a reason for suicide?

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