Archive for April, 2015

Who Said, ‘Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay’?

April 10, 2015

Interesting Literature

Who first said this famous quip about everyone having a book or novel in them?

‘Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.’ Or, as some sources have it, ‘Everyone has a novel in them.’ Still others: ‘Every journalist has a novel in him.’ Most of us have heard the line, or some variation on it, and understand what it’s saying: it’s challenging the age-old belief that everyone has a story to tell, by suggesting that a) not all stories are actually worth telling, and b) not everyone can tell their story very well. So much for the main thrust of the quotation; but its authorship is not such an easy thing to determine. Who actually came up with it?

It’s perhaps most familiar to readers as a Christopher Hitchens witticism. Hitchens (1949-2011) was a hugely influential journalist and public intellectual, known for…

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Bridget Khursheed

April 3, 2015

The Open Mouse

The last days of petrol

The ebb of a country lane and meadowsweet;
or those hot verges seen from a corner
for a second brown itching with seed; and
the stop by an unfamiliar signpost;

the humpback bridge over a chubb stream
taken fast so the belly flops;
driving up above mills getting away
from work with a teak chest

wedged in the back of a hire car
until the Cauldshiels car park
reverse in and out again and back
across the downs to keep

out of the hotel; the solitary race
from Moffat to Perth business parks
faster each time until the sallow trees
perspire sap on the bonnet;

chug of petrol in the last garage in Broadford;
driving round the block and round the
block and round the block
and round until I am no longer

early; empty journeys
fast except by speed cameras;
and the trip to…

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