Dear Mr. Atkinson,
Most of my fellow-contributors will probably pick one of the great philosophers or literary giants of the past – Seneca, Cicero, Dante – or some fashionable luminary such as Chomsky, Neruda or Foucault. But I could not think of any single source of inspiration, and told Rob Riemen so.
Since he insisted, I began to reflect on what I suppose must have been my formative years, but all I could come up with was a bizarrely random set of people and things. Having to select one person to write to, I opted for perhaps the most random of all.