Hitchens is a devotee of Orwell; some have suspected a self-conscious desire to emulate him, right down to the jacket photographs with accompanying cigarette. Yet many admirers of Orwell admit to a stab of envy: he was lucky to be writing in such epic times, they moan, reporting on the titanic struggles of the twentieth century; if only we were blessed with such material, we too could reach those heights. By this light, reporting on Cyprus in the 1970s was all very well, but Guernica it was not.
And then along come the September 11 attacks and suddenly there is a subject worthy of these would-be Orwells’ talents. Why squander such a moment with on-the-one-hand-on-the-other equivocations? Better, surely, to light another cigarette, reach for the Remington portable, and fire off a thousand words of antifascist denunciation in the spirit of Eric Blair.New York Review of Books (via someone in my twitter stream)