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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 2 Dec 2003 23:52:32 EST
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Fellow Twaniacs --

    I am compelled to respond on two points.
    Hitchens gets an awful lot of mileage from his image as a hardworking
contrarian; he was one of the few people to publicly question the worship of both
Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. But his tossing about of, to me at least,
Cooperian-sized words from a brain that's not as large as he fancies it to be
indicates he's like a boy with a BB gun. If it's remotely sacred, he's going to
take aim and shoot. He wants to be rewarded for trying, even if he misses.
    And who the blazes is Hitchens to make up the rules for what a biography
ought to be? I read his stuff devotedly and more often than not agree with
him, but in this case he just gives new depth to the term "twee Brit chowderhead."
    The nifty thing is, though, I suspect Sam would have loved to have gone
head-to-head with Hitchens. He'd have made coleslaw, at least, out of him, if
not turkey hash.

    Belated happy 168th to Sam'l! (I put my flag out Sunday, and my nice but
rather nosy neighbor said, "It's not a holiday!" To which I countered, it's
Mark Twain's birthday, so it ought to be.)

Kathy O'Connell
Meriden, Conn.