CHARLIE ROSE: What’s the worst part of it(Cancer)? Is it -- it puts some
sense of mortality in your focus?
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: No, because I think the focus on mortality is a
useful thing to have, and that’s why I begin my book with it. You should
CHARLIE ROSE: Before you knew.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: -- that your time is very limited, and that
you’re lucky to live in a time and place where you can be healthy until
you’re 60, as I was. Most people in history never had a chance even to
hope for a thing like that. So, no for the avoidance of hubris, I think
it’s good to have a sober feeling of the presence of death.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes, anger I can’t muster. Really because it’s
necessary that people die. It would be terrible if people did not. People
have to die in large numbers every day so as to make room. I’m leaving the
party a bit earlier than I’d like. Much earlier than I’d like-- or rather,
it looks as if I might leave quite a bit earlier than I’d like. And not
only that, but the party will go on without me, a more horrible thought.
Why should I be enraged at that? That would be spiteful.
CHARLIE ROSE: And the bottom line truth is, you know, that whenever
that happens, whether it’s next week or five years from now or 10 years
from now or through some miracle of medical revelation that we do not yet
know, you know, you have to know that you have engaged it and you have
engaged it with great sense of fierce fighting for ideas you believed in,
fierce commitment to friends, and fierce love of family.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Life is a terrible thing to waste. So I hope I
haven’t wasted too much of it. It’s very kind of you to put it like that.
Charlie Rose Interview