Vaclav Havel and Christopher Hitchens both died of cancer last week. Both were great writers and great political thinkers. Hitchens leaves behind a mixed legacy, as any warrior-for-his-own-opinions will, and one gets the feeling that he wouldn’t have it any other way. Havel’s legacy is brighter and more enduring, the playwright who lead a people and a nation to freedom.
A third great writer died of cancer last week. His name was Rafael Torch. He was 36. He hadn’t yet reached the levels of renown that Havel and Hitchens had, but his prose had all their raw, honest power, and more. I never met Torch, though he did MAPH the year after me, but I’d read some his pieces that were published in the literary magazine Contrary.
After Torch’s death, Contrary emailed out a piece Torch had written when his cancer reappeared in June. The link is below.
Please read it. You will be glad you did. It is one of the most beautifully written and powerful odes to love and life I’ve ever read.