He used a hospital food tray as a desk for his computer to record his last thoughts about the illness which claimed his life at 62.Hitchens, a smoker, described the disease as a 'vulgar little tumour' and 'the alien' that was 'burrowing into me even as I wrote the jaunty words about my own prematurely announced death.'In his fragmentary jottings, published in the Daily Telegraph, he wrote: 'I am not fighting or battling cancer, it is fighting me. My two assets were my pen and my voice.'
The British-born writer and essayist died from pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer, at a Texas hospital.But he lost none of his wit and trenchant views as he faced the end of his life. In his final book, Mortality, he wrote: 'Lost 14lbs without trying. Thin at last. But I don't feel lighter because walking to the fridge is like a forced march.'All the sleep-aids and blissful dozes seem somehow a waste of life - plenty of future time in which to be unconscious.'
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment