Cain, meet Abel

The battling Hitchens Bros. break bread, limbs


At a literary festival in Wales last week, Hitchenses Christopher and Peter sat onstage together. An ordinary enough occurrence, you would think--except that the two polemicists hadn't spoken in four years, following an offhand (and still contended) joke about Stalin.

Turns out their, um, ideological conflicts--Peter is a conservative Episcopal royalist; Christopher, until recently, called himself a socialist--go way back, as this quote from Peter suggests:

PH: There was [an] occasion when Christopher was sitting on the edge of a flower bed, admiring the blooms, when he saw a sinister shadow, growing, and it was me staggering up behind him with a rake. I have no memory of that...

CH: I do! I remember that very well. I've never moved so fast in my life.

And Christopher Hitchens haters (a group in which I do not include myself) may be stirred to grab a hanky and stoke the tiny fiddle at this confession:

CH: I said to an audience in America the other day who were booing me for some reason I still don't understand. I said, Look, I don't want to be loved. And I thought that's the stupidest thing I've ever said--and the most false. I really very much need to be loved. I just don't want to be popular.

The archives of City Pages, at least, indicate that Mr. Hitchens (the elder) has been successful on that last count.

For the rest of the transcript, kindly go here.


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