All The More Reason


I mean to repeat myself
July 6, 2007, 2:08 am
Filed under: Christopher Hitchens, Religion

There’s an interview with Hitchens up at thestranger.com which discusses his most recent book God is not Great. Here’s a quote:

For those of us who follow your work closely, God is Not Great seems not only to be the book that you were supposed to write for a long time but also the book you’ve sort of always been writing.

Yes.

Do you feel like you were summarizing yourself?

Yes. A friend of mine, whom I’d given an interview—”given,” that sounds grand—but anyway, some years ago, where I was asked would I ever think of writing a book about secularism. And I can’t now remember the date, but I said, “No, really, no, because the case has already been made much better, you know? It’s already complete; it doesn’t need another book.” I must have thought that was true at the time I said it, I think. Since September the 11th particularly and the revival of brute religiosity around the place and the failure of faith to having anything useful to say is a strong motivation.

I think that there’s a natural hesitancy in some people when they wish to write or speak about topics that have already been covered not to do so. One analogy that could help in overcoming this is to think of writing as cuisine. Each time that one makes a pot–au–feu, or penne bolognese, it is quite similar to the last time but our hunger is just as great. This analogy breaks down when one thinks of the great works in literature (a great frozen casserole which we can all feast upon?) but it can be useful all the same. Just because something’s been said, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth saying again. Je t’aime, par exemple…

J.S.

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1 Comment so far
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Also, no two cooks must use the exact same spices. I like the analogy.

Comment by hydralisk




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