Published 19/12/2011 | 05:00
• One of the greatest public intellectuals of our time, the passionate and polemic journalist Christopher Hitchens, passed away last week aged 62 at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas.
A man of staunch integrity, even in the face of grave aridity, Mr Hitchens made it clear that he did not feel he was engaged in a duel with cancer.
He painfully, yet honestly, articulated that chemotherapy felt like "drowning in powerlessness". In his column 'Topic of Cancer' in Vanity Fair, he expressed his animosity toward the cliche of battling cancer by asserting that "the image of the ardent soldier or revolutionary is the very last one that will occur to you" while undergoing chemotherapy.