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Hitchens on Hitchens: Memorable quotes from the renowned essayist

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**FILE**Essayist Christopher Hitchens speaks during a debate on Iraq and the foreign policies of the United States and Britain, on Sept. 14, 2005 in New York. The title of his new book, "God Is Not Great," is an intentionally inflammatory twist on "Allah Akbar." Indeed, he lambasts Islam as "not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms" from Judaism and Christianity. (AP Photo/Chad Rachman)

Chad Rachman/AP/Chad Rachman/AP

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May 2, 2007 New York, NY By Chris Ramirez Christopher Hitchens talks about his latest book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons

Chris Ramirez/The Globe and Mail/Chris Ramirez/The Globe and Mail

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Chris Ramirez/The Globe and Mail/Chris Ramirez/The Globe and Mail

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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Joshua Roberts/The Globe and Mail/Joshua Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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"I became a journalist because one didn't have to specialise. I remember once going to an evening with Umberto Eco talking to Susan Sontag and the definition of the word "polymath" came up. Eco said it was his ambition to be a polymath; Sontag challenged him and said the definition of a polymath is someone who's interested in everything and nothing else. I was encouraged in my training to read widely - to flit and sip, as Bertie [Wooster] puts it - and I think I've got good memory retention. I retain what's interesting to me, but I don't have a lot of strategic depth.” From his last interview with Richard Dawkins in The New Statesman, Dec. 16, 2011

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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