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Monday 1 January 2001

Everything you ever wanted to know about SA4QE (but were afraid to ask)

These statistics concerning the SA4QE activity/website were compiled in March 2008. See also the 2012 Russell Hoban reader survey results.

as of March 2008, 354 quotes have been dropped or '4qated'

from 31 books

by 70 4qaters

of whom 42 are male

and 28 are female

on average each 4qation is 75 words in length

there are 624 words in the longest 4qation

there are 2 words in the shortest 4qation

4qaters have quoted over 29,000 words between them

the most prolific 4qater has dropped 48 quotes to date

a total of 46 cities and towns have been 4qated

in 14 countries worldwide

the most popular book has been quoted from 45 times

the most popular single quote has been 4qated 7 times

SA4QE celebrates the work of 1 great writer:

Russell Hoban


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SA4QE world record-holders

The 10 longest quotes

1. Steve Long - 'Jachin-Boaz… took the master map out of a drawer and spread it on the counter for his son to look at...' from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (624 words)

2. Graeme Wend-Walker - 'There was standing before me a tall and noble-looking Turk with heroic moustaches...' from Pilgermann (602 words)

3. Roland Clare - 'The dim light, the faceful shadows murmured, tinkled, gleamed...' from Dream Woman, a short story from The Moment under The Moment (498 words)

4. Peter Morrison - 'There are green turtles whose feeding grounds are along the coast of Brazil, and they swim 1,400 miles to breed...' from Turtle Diary (497 words)

5. Anthony Davis - 'I hadn’t yet provided myself with a bottle wherewith to furnish the flat I was going to, so when I got into the lift I pushed STREET...' from Fremder (453 words)

6. Graeme Wend-Walker - 'There was a week of nature films on the South Bank and I went to see one about sharks...' from Turtle Diary (451 words)

7. Richard Cooper - '"Do you know what I am to you?" said the head of Orpheus...' from The Medusa Frequency (376 words)

8. Richard Cooper - 'If I say there's a language failure somewhere does that make any sense? Keep in mind my claim that everything is language...' from Pan Lives, an essay from The Moment under The Moment (330 words)

9. Richard Cooper - 'Blue-black shiningness, bluish-white shining on the puddles on the football pitch in the rainy night all starred with lamps and windows...' from The Medusa Frequency (327 words)

10. Peter Morrison - 'Max stands there for what seems a long time. The shapes of black keep moving and changing. The way they do it scares him...' from Her Name Was Lola (309 words)

The 20 shortest quotes

Trubba not.
from Riddley Walker (chosen by Kerry Power)

from Angelica's Grotto (Hugh Bowden)

Morrows Cruel Mock
from Kleinzeit (Matthew Stephan)

Things don’t end; they just accumulate.
from Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer (Chris Bell / Olaf Schneider)

from Kleinzeit (Richard Cooper)

Biting the wheel is not enough.
from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (Sandra Smith)

The Politics of Language, Room 231
from Angelica's Grotto (Hugh Bowden)

Don't expect me to be human, said God.
from Kleinzeit (Emmae Gibson)

Don't come the deconstructionist with me, you ponce!
from The Medusa Frequency (Andrew Middleton)

Life is the original sickness of inanimate matter.
from Kleinzeit (Matthew Stephan)

There's nothing beyond the last visible dog but us.
from The Mouse and His Child (Kerry Power)

Life cannot tolerate itself, life wants to become death.
from Pilgermann (Matthew Stephan)

The centre of anything is the centre of everything.
from Pilgermann (Tim Haillay)

There is only one place, and that place is time.
from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (Dave Awl / Deena Omar / Mike Warren)

Learn the speech of ravens and they will feed you.
from Fremder (Dylan Spicer)

Loneliness… is the essential human condition. Everything else is gravy.
sauce TBC (Emmae Gibson)

Dream: a rushing in the air behind the visible world.
from Fremder (Lindsay Edmunds)

To be and not to be: that is the answer.
from Fremder (Nick Shearer)

It’s astonishing, really, how quickly the strange becomes the usual.
from The Bat Tattoo (Steve Long)

Reason is not sufficient; I know what I cannot explain.
from Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road, an essay from The Moment under The Moment (Yvonne Studer)

The 14 most prolific 4qaters

Richard Cooper (48 quotes)

Yvonne Studer (30)

Olaf Schneider (26)

Dave Awl (19)

Matthew Stephan (17)

Chris Bell (15)

David, Veda & Josh Johnson (14)

Graeme Wend-Walker (10)

Lisa Greenstein (10)

Roland Clare (9)

Deena Omar (8)

Diana Slickman (8)

Lindsay Edmunds (8)

Steve Long (8)

The 12 most popular quotes

Chosen 7 times:

from Fremder:

More and more I find life is a series of disappearances followed usually but not always by reappearances; you disappear from your morning self and reappear as your afternoon self; you disappear from feeling good and reappear feeling bad. And people, even face to face and clasped in each other's arms, disappear from each other.

Chosen 5 times:

from The Medusa Frequency:

`What is Luise to you?'
`Lost. Gone. Two years only, then Znrvv! No more Luise. A note on the kitchen table like an unaccompanied cello in a studio with dusty windows.'
`Don't roll the credits over it; just tell me plangently when she left you.'
`Seven years ago with my sound man.'
`What do you suppose she heard in him?'
`Other music.'
`And what did she ever see in you?'
`Flickering images.'
`Of what?'
`It doesn't matter, it's the flickering that gives the excitement. Being is not a steady state but an occulting one: we are all of us a succession of stillnesses blurring into motion with the revolving of the wheel of action, and it is in those spaces of black betwen the pictures that we experience the heart of the mystery in which we are never allowed to rest. The flickering of a film interrupts the intolerable continuity of apparent world; subliminally it gives us those in-between spaces of black that we crave. The eye is hungry for this; eagerly it collaborates with the unwinding strip of celluloid that shows it twenty-four pictures per second, making real by an act of retinal retention the here-and-gone, the continual disappearing in which the lovers kiss, the shots are fired, the horses gallop, rrks?'
`Luise saw all that in you, did she?'
`It isn't only that I make films, I am in myself a big flickerer and women respond to this. I'm so much there/not there/there/not there. Very exciting. It stimulates a woman's natural holding-on reflex.'
`And yet Luise seems to have let go of you.'
`Nothing is for ever.'

from Riddley Walker:

Lorna said to me, ‘You know Riddley theres some thing in us it dont have no name.’

I said, ‘What thing is that?’

She said, ‘Its some kind of thing it aint us but yet its in us. Its looking out thru our eye hoals. May be you dont take no noatis of it only some times. Say you get woak up suddn in the middl of the nite. 1 minim youre a sleap and the nex youre on your feet with a spear in your han. Wel it wernt you put that spear in your han it wer that other thing whats looking out thru your eye hoals. It aint you nor it don’t even know your name. Its in us lorn and loan and sheltering how it can.

I said, ‘If its in every 1 of us theres moren 1 of it theres got to be a manying theres got to be a millying and mor.’

Lorna said, ‘Wel there is a millying and mor.’

I said, ‘Wel if theres such a manying of it whys it lorn then whys it loan?’

She said, ‘Becaws the manying and the millying its all 1 thing it dont have nothing to gether with. You look at lykens on a stoan its all them tiny manyings of it and may be each part of it myt think its sepert only we can see its all 1 thing. Thats how it is with what we are its all 1 girt big thing and divvyt up amongst the many. Its all 1 girt thing bigger nor the worl and lorn and loan and oansome. Tremmering it is and feart. It puts us on like we put on our cloes. Some times we dont fit. Some times it cant fynd the arm hoals and it tears us a part.’

Chosen 4 times:

from Turtle Diary:

There are green turtles whose feeding grounds are along the coast of Brazil, and they swim 1,400 miles to breed and lay eggs on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, half way to Africa. Ascension Island is only five miles long. Nobody knows how they find it. Two of the turtles at the Aquarium are green turtles, a large one and small one. The sign said: 'The Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, is the source of turtle soup...' I am the source of William G. soup if it comes to that. Everyone's the source of his or her own kind of soup. In a town as big as London that's a lot of soup walking about.

Chosen 3 times:

from The Medusa Frequency:

‘Do you know what I am to you?’ [said the Head of Orpheus].
‘Probably not.’
‘I am the first of your line. I am the first singer, the one who invented the lyre, the one to whom Hermes brought Eurydice and perpetual guilt. I am your progenitor, I am the endlessly voyaging sorrow that is always in you, I am that astonishment from which you write in those brief moments when you can write.’
‘Endlessly voyaging sorrow and astonishment. Yes, I have those from you, I know that. Perpetual guilt, you said.’
‘In the stories they always say I turned around to look at her too soon but that isn’t how it was: I turned away too soon, turned away before I’d ever looked long enough, before I’d ever fully perceived her.’

from The Medusa Frequency:

The world-child has been told that this is a world, ... and it believes it; it is the energy of this belief that binds the world together. The world-child holds in its mind the idea of every single thing: root and stone, tree and mountain, river and ocean and every living thing. The world-child holds in its mind the idea of woman and man, the idea of love.

from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz:

Darkness roared with the lion, the night stalked with the silence of him. The lion was. Ignorant of non-existence he existed. Ignorant of self he was a sunlit violence with calm joy at the centre of it, he was the violence of being-as-hunter constantly renewed in the devouring of non-being.

For him, there were no maps, no places, no time. Beneath his tread the round earth rolled, the wheel turned, bearing him to death and life again. Through his lion-being drifted stars and blackness, morning sang, night soothed, dawn burst its daylight from the womb of vital terror. Oceans heaved, frail bridges spanned the winding track of days, the rising air sang lion-flight in wings of birds. In clocks ticked lion-time. It pulsed in heartbeats, footsteps walking all unknowing, souls of guilt and sorrow, souls of love and pain. He had been called, he had come. He was.

from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz:

There is only one place, and that place is time.

from The Bat Tattoo:

Sometimes in the underground I close my eyes and the sound of the wheels on the rails and the surging and swaying of the carriage become the rolling passage in the darkness of my mind.

from Pilgermann:

When one is a child, when one is young, when one has not yet reached the age of recognition, one thinks that the world is strong, that the strength of God is endless and unchanging. But after the thing has happened - whatever that thing might be - that brings recognition, then one knows irrevocably how very fragile is the world, how very, very fragile; it is like one of those ideas that one has in dreams: so clear and so self-explaining are they that we make no special effort to remember. Then of course they vanish as we wake and there is nothing there but the awareness that something very clear has altogether vanished.

from Fremder:

'Do you think the rain remembers, Fremder?'

'I think everything remembers, Pythia.'

'…especially the rain. It remembers when the world was new, remembers how the seas filled up. Think of all the midnights and the dawns the rain remembers, how many there were before a single word was spoken. Neither pleasant palaces nor wild dogs to howl in them, only the steam rising as the seas filled up, only the white mist on the water in the ancient mornings.'

from Fremder:

We are all of us a succession of stillnesses blurring into motion on the wheel of action.

(A further 22 quotes were chosen twice)

The 10 most popular books for 4qating

1. The Medusa Frequency (quoted 45 times / 12.7% of total)

2. Turtle Diary (43 times / 12.1%)

3. Fremder (33 times / 9.3%)

4. Pilgermann (28 times / 7.9%)

5. The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (27 times / 7.6%)

6. The Moment under The Moment (25 times / 7.1%)

7. Kleinzeit (23 times / 6.5%)

8. The Bat Tattoo (21 times / 5.9%)

9. Amaryllis Night and Day (21 times / 5.9%)

10. Riddley Walker (19 times / 5.4%)

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