Saturday, February 06, 2010

Christopher Hitchens, Ex-Dauphin

Christopher Hitchens has written recently that he noticed a change in Gore Vidal after 9/11. The old subversive man of letters became a crackpot, having said that the terrorist attack was probably an inside job engineered by George W. Bush.

Vidal had anointed Hitchens as his dauphin, but without the same blood, it all trickled down the drain. Another literary marriage doomed to divorce.

The truth is that Hitchens had never acknowledged or understood that Vidal was a crackpot until after 9/11, either choosing to ignore the obvious or keeping those thoughts below the surface.

Vidal has always promoted bizarre ideas that suit whatever his current agenda might be. For example, back in the 1970s, in an essay for the New York Review of Books, he equated Norman Mailer with Charles Manson. Vidal doesn't choose to reprint that one much these days, if at all.

Hitchens has noted that Vidal doesn't reprint certain essays that he thinks might prove embarrassing, such as some of his 9/11 baloney, suggesting he may not really believe what he writes and is merely trying to goad the unwashed masses. It has always been Vidal's modus operandi to float dubious ideas as if they were settled truths that conservatives refuse to accept.

Vidal for his part, has in so many words withdrawn Hitchens' dauphincy, or un-dauphined him, claiming that Hitchens wanted to be his heir but became frustrated when Vidal chose not to expire in a timely manner.

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