Life Imitates Art: Totalitarian Edition (with Christopher Hitchens)

Christopher Hitchens' talk plus Q&A embedded above, about his book God Is Not Great, is reasonably good; my favourite bit is when he digresses about literature and dictatorships (this starts at around 22:15):
The North Korean state was set up in the same year that Orwell published 1984. And you almost think that somebody gave Kim Il-Sung a copy of it in Korean and said, "Do you think we could make this fly?" And he said, "Well, I can't be sure, we sure can give it the old college try."


I went to Prague once under the old days of the communist regime. I thought, "Whatever happens here, I'm not going to mention Franz Kafka in my essay. I'm going to be the first journalist not to do it!" I went to a meeting of the opposition underground. Somebody betrayed us - because the secret police came in and suddenly: wham, like this, broke down the door, dogs, torches, rubber truncheons - the lot. They slammed me against the wall: "You're under arrest." - "Well, I demand to see the British ambassador, blah, blah . . ." - "You're under arrest!" - "What's the charge?" - "We don't have to tell you that!" I thought: "Fuck, I'm going to mention Kafka after all."

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