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Monday, 15 February 2010

Yvonne Studer 2010

As I'm on sabbatical and have been spending a lot of time on Facebook recently, spreading the word in public this year meant sending out quotes to those of my Facebook friends I thought might enjoy Russ's books. I set my status update to a quote from the essay 'I, that was a child, my tongue's use sleeping...', reprinted in The Moment under the Moment (1992):

Everyone lives a life that is seen and a life that is unseen. Our dreams are part of our unseen life. We often forget our own dreams and we have no idea whatever of the dreams of others: last night the person next to you in the underground may have ridden naked on a lion or travelled under the sea to the lost city of Atlantis.

Then I added the following comment:

"Today, on 4th February 2010, is the American writer Russell Hoban's 85th birthday. To celebrate the day, fans from all over the word spread quotations from his books for adults and children in various places, an event we call the "Slickman A4 Quotation Event", short SA4QE. Often the quotes are written on sheets of yellow A4 paper because this kind of paper played a major role in Hoban壮 second novel for adults, Kleinzeit (1974). But other forms of expression from handwritten quotes on rizla paper to digital posts and animations are just as suitable. If you want to learn more and enjoy looking at examples from past years, check out the special SA4QE blog at

Since I've always "4qated" ("fork-you-ate-it") places where I was busy, I decided to be active on Facebook this year, and particularly in Pet Society. So, don't be astonished if Purryl drops you a note with a quote today. Time is too short to 4qate all houses, though, and since everybody doesn't play Pet Society, the quote in my status update is for all those who won't get a personal message.

What the status update didn't allow me to type because there is a restriction on its length is that the essay from which I borrowed my quote is from the collection The Moment under the Moment.

Here on Facebook, we probably show each other a little bit more of our dreams than we usually would, and that's definitely something to celebrate and be thankful for. Here's to our unseen lives then! x"

Finally, I posted individual messages to twenty friends via the game we play together. If the quote was too long for an in-game note, I would direct them to the Inbox and place the quote there, stating why I had sent them these particular bits. These were the quotes:

"'Sometimes one's got to laugh, you know, or go mad.'
'And,' said Schwarzgang."
(Kleinzeit, 1974)

"Oh yes, I thought, feeling something good just around the corner of my mind: just be all the way in it and you're all right."
(Turtle Diary, 1975)

"...The grown-up is only a thin coat of chocolate over the hard nut of the child. Whatever you were as a kid, you still are when the chocolate gets licked off or scraped off."
(Linger Awhile, 2006)

"'5p more, luv,' said the lady at the ticket-taking booth. 'Fare's gone up.' That's life, Kleinzeit noted. Yesterday it cost so much to get from here to there, today it costs more. Just like that. Who knows what it'll cost me to wake up tomorrow."
(Kleinzeit 1974)

"Shamans wear bird costumes and they fly. Somehow they experience flying. They're gone and they come back with answers. Could I abolish the human condition? Could I swim, experience swimming, finding, navigating, fearlessness, unlostness? Could I come back with an answer? The unlostness itself would be the answer, I shouldn't need to come back."
(Turtle Diary 1975)

"Ink on paper makes books; books make worlds. You don't need a printing press, you don't even need to be grown up. Little children take pieces of paper, of different sizes as often as not; on them they print great gangling words with capitals and lower-case letters not always in the usual places; they draw pictures on the pieces of paper and they staple them together and the pages turn and it's a book with monsters and spacecraft from beyond the galaxy. Or trees and flowers and there was a princess who lived in a castle."
('With a Choked Cry', reprinted in The Moment under the Moment 1992, and in A Russell Hoban Omnibus 1999)

"I don't believe there's anyone who could know my needs and bear the burden of my sorrow the way you do."
(My Tango with Barbara Strozzi 2007)

"We must find in ourselves the shapes of letting go because we're not free to become what we're going to be next until we let go of what we are now."
('Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road', reprinted in The Moment under the Moment, 1992)

I hope you all had a great day, and, once again, Happy Birthday, Russ!

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