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Russell Hoban interviewed at the 2010 Serpentine Map Marathon

Map Marathon 2010 - Russell Hoban in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

In 2010 Russell Hoban took part in the Serpentine Gallery's Map Marathon event. Taking place over a weekend, the busy event was a kind of cultural festival of all things to do with maps and map-making. Russell was interviewed by event curator Hans Ulrich Obrist mostly about Riddley Walker, which features in its frontispiece a Hoban-drawn map of the post-apocalyptic Kent of "Inland" and whose plot sees the eponymous hero constantly "roading" around the landscape. 

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

Manny Rat's housewarming was a great success. He had invited the cream of rat society, and all of them attended, twittering and squeaking with high spirits as they climbed the string ladder to the dolls' house. Grizzled old fighters and their plump, respectable wives touched whiskers with gentleman rats grown sleek by cunning and lithe young beauties of vaguely theatrical connection. Debutante rats and dashing young rats-about-town, all the golden youth of the dump, arrived in little laughing groups that achieved the effect of brilliance even in the dark, while doddering dowager rats came escorted by gaunt artistic rats with matted fur, burning eyes, and enormous appetites. Last up the ladder were a scattering of selected social climbers, followed by various hired bravos, obscure ruffians, and cheap hustlers whose good will was worth cultivating.


Russell Hoban links...

Summary: Jachin-Boaz the map-maker lives in a time when lions are extinct. He makes a map for his son to find everything he could ever want, but suddenly deserts his family to look for a lion. His son Boaz-Jachin, pursuing him, finds a great deal more than just his father. Detailed description:...
riddley-indiana.jpg According to reviewers of literature, Hoban’s masterpiece is Riddley Walker.  I agree, but for reasons not noted in any review.  In both conception and presentation, Riddley Walker is a novel unlike any other.  It is a wonder and...
Paul Hunter, director of The Mouse and His Child at the Royal Shakespeare Company, talks about the influence of Toy Story and Pixar and the importance of capturing all the emotions of Hoban's book, and adds "This is a play for everyone."
Wide-ranging interview originally published in The Literary Review, 1984. Reproduced on the Head of Orpheus with their permission.
Short video interviewing the main cast members and showing dress rehearsals for the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2012-13 production of The Mouse and His Child.
Summary: Hoban's second novel for adults, Kleinzeit is a story detailing the eponymous title character's brush with illness and creativity. When Kleinzeit is fired from his job as an advertising copywriter, he ends up in hospital with a "skewed hypotenuse", being tended by the healthy and...
Russell Hoban pays homage to Gislebertus, the 12th-century stone-carver whose work at Autun Cathedral in France inspired a section of The Bat Tattoo.
Short clip from the Roland Collection video interview.