By Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens used to be recognized for his erudition and pitch-perfect, generally argumentative prose, and during this new choice of essays that span his storied profession, he's no varied. No topic is secure: Bosnia, Norman Mailer, Helen Mirren, Hitler--and definite, invoice and Hillary Clinton.
Lively and shrewdpermanent, indignant and considerate, and an ideal spouse to his bestselling Arguably, And but, And but is vintage Christopher Hitchens. it is going to satisfaction fanatics and critics alike.
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Additional info for And Yet ...: Essays
It is not a way to close the gap between ordinary consciousness and the exalted states of mind he ﬂeetingly experiences. Signiﬁcantly, Törless learns to come to terms with his divided consciousness when he is ﬁnally able to verbalize his troubling experiences. It is in the memorable conclusion of the novel, a trial-like scene in which Törless is called by the boarding school authorities to explain his involvement with Basini, that he realizes he has found a way of coping with the split between ordinary experience and his mystical illuminations.
In the postscript, I discuss the import of this last utopian vision for our day. 26 THE VOID OF ETHICS As soon as we put something into words, we devalue it in a strange way. We think we have plunged into the depths of the abyss, and when we return to the surface the drop of water on our pale ﬁngertips no longer resembles the sea from which it comes. We delude ourselves that we have discovered a wonderful treasure trove, and when we return to the light of day we ﬁnd that we have brought back only false stones and shards of glass; and yet the treasure goes on glimmering in the dark, unaltered.
He had grown used to hoping for extraordinary, hidden discoveries, and in the process he had been led into the narrow, twisting chambers of sexuality. Not because he was perverse, but because his spiritual situation was temporarily aimless. And that very inﬁdelity to something serious within him, something for which he had striven, ﬁlled him with a vague sense of guilt. . (T 129 –30) In pursuing the stirring of a nameless something deep inside him, in trying to identify that sixth sense that discloses an altogether different view of reality, Törless had come across and become entangled in the workings of sexuality.
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