Eagleton scratches a Hitch

The current issue of New Statesman is a must, not least for Terry Eagleton's demolition job on Christopher Hitchens' memoir 'Hitch-22'. Read it here. Will Self also reminisces on the Chinese restaurant that was and no longer is. Charlotte Higgins, from the Hay Festival, also blogs on whether it is acceptable to fictionalise historical figures. This is a question I've had to ask myself a few times over the past couple of years, being a pursuit I am engaged in, although Mary Burns is less a historical figure, more of a shadow of a historical figure (Engels). Aptly enough from a right-wing historian, Niall Ferguson, claims that it most definitely is not. Well, it wouldn't be, would it - stamping all over his ground and rightist ideology that only the victors should write the (imperalist) history. But the thing is, if some figures were not fictionalised then they and their achievements, and even the demographics to which they belonged, would simply never be passed onto future generations - thus keeping the door closed on particular aspects of their eras. Historical fiction writers, whilst fictionalising, also do the historicising.

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