Hitchens (2012). Mortality.

Hitchens, C. (2012). Mortality. McLelland & Stewart, Toronto. 

“… Callimachus chose to remember his beloved Heraclitus (as adapted into English by William Cory):

‘They told me, Heraclitus; they told me you were dead.
They brought me bitter news to hear, and bitter tears to shed.
I wept when I remembered how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking, and sent him down the sky.’

Indeed, he rests his claim for his friend’s immortality on the sweetness of his tones:

‘Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.'” (p 53)

“We may not be, as we used to boast, the only animals capable of speech. But we are the only ones who can deploy vocal communication for sheer pleasure and recreation, combining it with our two other boasts of reason and humor to produce higher syntheses. To lose this ability is to be deprived of an entire range of faculty: It is assuredly to die more than a little.” (p 54)

“Brave? Hah! Save it for a fight you can’t run away from.” (p 89)

“Montaigne: ‘Religion’s surest foundation is the contempt for life.'” (p 90)


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