Thursday, 6 September 2012

RECALLING GREAT MEN: Rex Nettleford and Christopher Hitchens live on through imaginative new tributes

LITERARY LION: Even as he battled oesophagal cancer, essayist and author Christopher Hitchens (who died in Houston in December 2011) adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In a new posthumous essay collection, Mortality (Twelve), a riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly writes about the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us.

Equal parts personal and philosophical, per, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death. “Among the many things that made Hitchens unique was his precision of thought and expression. What made him rare were his courage and tenacity,” hails the Washington Post. “He was fearless in the field and relentless in his defense of the defenseless with that mightiest of swords, his pen. Judging from his final essays, he was also fearless in the fact of death.”

ART AND LIFE: The Artist Board of the Fondo Del Sol Visual Arts Centre and Museum in Washington DC are mounting a special Jamaica 50 exhibit (“Out of Many”) from September 15-16 in memory of the late Jamaican cultural stalwart Rex Nettleford. In addition to a display of vibrant artworks, the event, which is being organized as a family affair, will feature live music, films, Jamaican food and drink, Anansi storytelling and artist talks.

Meantime, according to reports from earlier this year, a Nettleford docu-film is in the works.

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