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Drinking with Hitch

The Times Online published an excerpt from Christopher Hitchens’ autobiography, Hitch-22.

Alcohol makes other people less boring and food less bland and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament — the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana — is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modelled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated.

No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied.

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