Commonplace

“…It’s not just [Christopher Hitchens’s] changing his mind that’s got my goat. His and my hero Dwight Macdonald did that often enough. But one may do it gracefully or gracelessly. Even when all the provocations Hitchens has endured are acknowledged (especially the not-infrequent hint that booze has befogged his brain), they don’t excuse his zeal not merely to correct his former comrades but to bait, ridicule, and occasionally slander them, caricaturing their arguments and questioning their good faith. Not having recognized a truth formerly ought to make you more patient, not less, with people who do not recognize it now; and less certain, not more, that whomever you currently disagree with is contemptibly benighted.”

—George Scialabba, “Farewell, Hitch,” N+1 (Spring 2005)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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