Hitchens, the great
Aside from reading The Moon and Sixpence and Of Human Bondage, I know almost nothing about their author, W. Somerset Maugham. I did, however, had great fun reading Hitchens’s review, Poor Old Willie, of Somerset Maugham: A Life by Jeffrey Meyers. Maugham’s conversations among his characters never sound the way people actually talk (nothing wrong with that — Don DeLillo does the same but with much better results), and Hitchens, after quoting The Razor’s Edge states,
So that was a waste of dialogue, wasn’t it? A little further on we learn of Gray Maturin that “though built on so large a scale he was finely proportioned, and stripped he must have been a fine figure of a man.” Presumably this would also be true of him when unstripped.
A great man once said, “That to expect bad men not to do wrong is madness, for he who expects this desires an impossibility. But to allow men to behave so to others, and to expect them not to do thee any wrong, is irrational and tyrannical”. I thought of this after reading What I got wrong about Iraq. As Hitchens puts it,
It’s only a pity that the decision to intervene was left until so many years had been consumed by the locust.
Read Hitchens and ponder.
New (to me) blog
Via Hispalibertas, The Religious Policeman, “A Saudi man’s diary of life in the “Magic Kingdom”, where the Religious Police ensure that everything remains as it was in the Middle Ages.
“In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter”.