Tip of the Day: Delay

by Eubie on September 26, 2013

As previously mentioned, the HUB recommended Chris Hitchens’ final post-mortem on being mortal. Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to finish the damn thing ourselves because the content is… shall we say, difficult. Reading a man with such a gift for written and spoken English, for the pure act of communicating deep thoughts cleverly, as he descends into darkness is, well, dark, kind of a punch in the throat. The book, as also previously discussed, is little more than a collection of the last seven brief essays Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair, his main benefactor all these years (and The Atlantic, don’t forget The Atlantic), around four or so months after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Bookending the essays in the book are an intro by somebody named Graydon Carter and an epilogue by Hitchens’ wife, who takes us all the way home with the man. In one of the essays, Hitch references a famous quote by Fred Nietzsche about whatever not killing you making you stronger, what Hitch was then beginning to consider ridiculous. There was a host of things that, while not exactly killing him, certainly weren’t making him feel any stronger, things that had to do with medically trying to stop a body from eating itself alive. We’ve been hesitant to finish the book because we fear that, in the finishing, we will not find ourselves any stronger, no. In point of fact, far from it. And so we delay. Today, remember that doing nothing is doing something, whether it kills you, strengthens you, or none of the above.

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