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Friday, 4 February 2005

Lisa Greenstein 2005

Hello all!

Well, it seems you can SA4Qate in pairs, as my friend Lara and I proved this evening. We both had busy weeks, so agreed to find our quotes of choice then join forces this evening for some yellow paper.

I decided to use quotations from Amaryllis Night and Day because it's the first Hoban book I read, and it was a birthday present, and this is my first SA4QE expedition and a birthday present too! Also, I have always been a weird and vivid dreamer, and I used to stand on the waking side of my dreams and peer in, pointing, like I was looking at animals in a zoo. Amaryllis showed me that the gate between the animals and me was never really closed, let alone locked, and the distinction between the animals and me was never fixed either. Suddenly we were all kicking around wandering into each other's territories with a lot less growling. The other wondrous thing about this book, for me, was the way that freedom to dream, freedom to love, and creative freedom all become part of the same dreamy this-is-it state.

Lara chose two quotes from Pilgermann; we printed these out (2 copies of each) and together we headed off to the large mainstream bookseller where we have both been repeatedly underwhelmed by the large stock of Tami Hoag and Nick Hornby muscling out the Hoban collection. We slipped our yellow paper into the title pages of appropriate - or suitably inappropriate - titles, which I've listed under each. Here they are:

I went to see if she was still asleep. She wasn't in my bed. She wasn't in the studio or on the balcony. She wasn't in the bathroom or the kitchen. She was nowhere in the house. The night was gone, the day was here; the tube trains were running and the trees on the common were swaying in the cool of a morning that was going to turn hot very soon. Some birds were twittering in a half-hearted way, as if they were working to rule. At that time of day I always have the feeling that if you gave reality a good kick, the scenery would shake.

from Amaryllis Night and Day

One of these went into a boxed set of books about Salvador Dali. The other went into a travel guide about London.

'Names are pretty useless, really. If you say the name of anything ten or twenty times it scatters and falls away and the thing that's named stands there all naked and unknowable. Sometimes it comes back to me that nothing can be known, nothing at all. Black is the colour, silence is the music, Spanish is the way to walk.' She liked to be baffling, or at least gnostic, wherever possible. Whether she actually walked Spanish I couldn't say, but her walk was well worth seeing from the rear.
from Amaryllis Night and Day

We looked long and hard for a book of baby names but they were out of stock and there was nothing on Tom Waits either, AND there was no stock of TeachYourself Spanish either. So we settled on something else, but in my head its in a book about Tom Waits and I can't move it now.

'I'll go to my bed now and you lie down here. Look at the Mobius strip while you go around it with the slider. You're going to be pulling me into your dream so you should have me in your mind's eye while you're sliding the Mobius. Easy does it, just float with it, OK?'


'You're going to do it, I can feel it in you.' She kissed me with what was unmistakably a destiny kiss. 'See you in your dream,' she whispered. 'What if one of us is still awake while the other one's asleep?'

'If we're tuned in right that won't happen. Trust me, I'm a weirdo.'
from Amaryllis Night and Day

One copy went into a book titled Snoring - Effective Relief. The other into the sole copy of Her Name Was Lola (actually there were two when we arrived, but we bought one so there was only one left after that).

And yet, so are we made and such is the action of the everything in this one moment that is every moment, that another thought flickers over and under my first thought: what style God has! What a truly godlike extravagance, to burst out all at once with a universe in which everything is going at once and humankind is let run with nothing to stop it from doing anything at all. And to make this running-loose creature with a mind that knows what it is doing and a soul in which Hell burns always and Heaven is grasped so rarely and so briefly that it lives in us as a continual yearning for what can never be held onto, for what must always always be lost: what invention!
from Pilgermann

One of these went into a book about god on the religion shelves; the other into Primo Levi's If this is a man.

'Forgive me,' he said. 'Please, please forgive me. I would do it again if I had the chance.'
from Pilgermann

One of these went into a book of erotica whose title I can't remember because there were so many pictures competing for attention. The other was supposed to go to our waiter, but after three pina coladas and dinner, I think we were all SA4Q-ated out by then.

Happy birthday Russell Hoban!

Love from

Lisa Greenstein & Lara Hoffenberg

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