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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Alida Allison 2009

Here are my quotes for Russ' big day--

From the short story The Ghost Horse of Genghis Khan:

Genghis Khan, said John's mind. The mind was much older than the boy, it was as ancient as the stars, it remembered all sorts of things that John had never known. It was curious about everything and it was playful, it was obsessed with names and the sounds of words: Khwarizm, Khurastan, Karakorum; Gengis Khan, Genghis, Genghis, Genghis, it said, Genghis galloping, galloping. The thudding of unshod hooves is in the name; the bending of the bow is in the name, the bow of horn and sinew and lacquer. The rider twisting in the saddle draws the bowstring back and looses the arrow, the hiss of the hungry arrow cleaving time and darkness, cleaving forgetfulness so that the galloping of the ghost horse of Genghis Khan is fresh and strong in me.

(as published in The Russell Hoban Omnibus, p763)

The house was certainly grand enough for her, or indeed for anyone. The very cornices and carven brackets bespoke a residence of dignity and style, and the dolls never set foot outside it. They had no need to; everything the could possibly want was there, from the covered platters and silver chafing dishes on the side board to the ebony grand piano among the potted ferns in the conservatory… The house had rooms for every purpose, all opulently furnished and appropriately occupied: There were a piano-teacher doll and a young lady pupil doll in the conservatory, a nursemaid doll for the children dolls in the nursery, and a cook and butler doll in the kitchen. Interminable-weekend-guest dolls lay in the guest room beds, sporting dolls played billiards in the billiard room, and a scholar doll never ceased perusal of the book he held, although he kept in touch with the world by the hand that rested on the globe that stood beside him. There was even an astronomer doll in the lookout observatory, who tirelessly aimed his little telescope at one of the automatic fire sprinklers in the ceiling of the shop. In the dining room, beneath a glittering chandelier, a party of lady and gentleman dolls sat perpetually around a table. Whatever the cook and butler might hope to serve them, they had never taken anything but tea, and that from empty cups, while plaster cakes and pastry, defying time, stood by the silver teapot on the white damask cloth.

from The Mouse and His Child

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