stand for Hope
and for Freedom.
22 December 1978
I’ve always been drawn towards the parabolic and the epigrammatic. I can think of two sources for my love of the short and the pithy. The first is obvious: the Bible, particularly the book of Proverbs. Whether you believe any of it or not it’s still a great source for writers. I mean Shakespeare’s good and all but he was only one man. The book I’m writing just now references dozens of scriptures which lends the text a familiar tone even if you’re not quite sure why it’s familiar. Expressions like ‘the prodigal son’ have been absorbed into the English idiom and so why not use them when so much of the work’s been done for you? I still own my father’s bible—such a cliché I know—despite the fact I’ve never opened it in something like eighteen years.
The other source of inspiration is the book of quotations I devoured growing up: The Public Speaker’s Treasure Chest. My copy dates back to the sixties—it was my dad’s originally—but the book keeps getting reprinted. Later, when I started working myself, I supplemented this with my own copy of The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations. I still have both books despite the fact the Internet’s stepped in and now attends to all my quote-related needs which is a shame because I have an emotional attachment to these books that I will never have with BrainyQuote.