SA4QE - The Slickman A4 Quotation Event 2014

SA4QE 2014 - John Hand - Melbourne, Australia

4qating is 4weirdos. And I love it. On the 4th of February this year, I saw a band at an ex-Convent here in Melbourne: Kurt Vile and The Violators. Vile is from Landsdowne, Philadelphia, which is not the same as Russ' hometown of Lansdale, Philadelphia. On the night I thought it was, however, and so it felt great to 4qate at the gig. I think a few drunk hipsters made notes in their phones.

My sobre 4qating focused on Fitzroy and Collingwood, Melbourne suburbs full of weirdo arty types who stop to read everything posted/painted/stencilled, and gentrifying yuppie types who don't stop for anything. It felt like a place where Russ could find an audience, and the audience would find him.

Where are we? I said.


                In the black.


This isn't black, it's red.


         Sometimes the black is red.

From 'The Raven'. I posted/pasted this 4qation around the place 10-15 times.

[Angelica:]   'What's this got to do with my

            reality problems?'

[Psychoanalyst:] 'I have in mind your

                  fascination with sexual

            intercourse with animals.'

[Angelica:]   'Only my hippogriff, and he's 


I thought this one might be a bit risqué for a family friendly site (and I always 4qate responsibly), but I love it for Angelica's frank weirdness, which Russ tapped into so masterfully. Really, it's this kind of storytelling that reminds us - to steal a great phrase...from where, I forget - to live imagination, rather than to imagine life. Thanks, Russ.

Filed under Melbourne Australia Angelica Lost and Found The Moment under The Moment

SA4QE 2014 - Diana Slickman - Chicago Illinois, United States

On Tuesday, it was cold and windy and snowy, as it has so often been this winter, here in Chicago. In the morning I selected my quotes (two this year) and wrote them out on authentic, yellow A4 paper from Ryman's (purchased in London in September, specifically for this purpose) and headed out to work.  As usual, I chose my quotes more or less at random, and as usual, I wasn't sure where they wanted to be left.  At the end of my work day, I found the right spot for this one:

Under the bed Death sat humming to itself while it cleaned its fingernails.  I never do get them really clean, it said.  It's a filthy job I've got but what's the use of complaining.  All the same I think I'd rather have been Youth or Spring or any number of things rather than what I am.  Not Youth, maybe.  That's a little wet and you'd hardly get to know people before they've moved on.  Spring's pretty much the same and it's a lady's job besides.  Action would be nice to be, I should think.

Elsewhere Action lay in his cell smoking and looking up at the ceiling.  What a career, he said.  I've spent more time in the nick than anywhere else.  Why couldn't I have been Death or something like that.  Steady work, security.

This I left taped to the inside of a bus shelter on Peterson Avenue, that butts up against the fence of Rosehill Cemetary (, a large burial ground not far from my house.  Waiting for the bus, particularly the #84 Peterson bus, is something of an existential excerise, during which one (or I, at least) often contemplate death, from various angles.  I thought this a fitting complement.

I headed on to The Brixton, a little bar/restaurant on Clark Street, which I thought had an appropriately London-related name.  It was my intention to raise a glass to Russ, have a little bite to eat, and leave a quote behind.  It was surprisingly busy for a snowy Tuesday night, and I took a seat at the bar.  I ordered a perfect Manhattan and the potato soup - as close to potato pancakes as I could get at the moment.  "Absent friends" I said to the man sitting next to me, as I lifted my glass.  He looked at me and smiled vaguely.  It's not a very common toast in America, so who knows what he made of it.  I drank my drink and ate my (fantastically delicious) soup and paid my tab, after getting an oddly enthusiastic high-five from the bartender for, I guess, the excellence of my choices and my efficiency in ordering, consuming, and settling up.  It was a strange moment.  I'm a middle-aged woman, one who is rarely invited to give or receive high fives by anyone, and this wasn't a particularly high-fiving sort of establishment.  And yet, as I asked for my bill, up went his hands and like magic up went mine; slap, smile, and "all right! I like it!" from the bartender. On my way out (bemused) I stopped into the ladies room and slipped a yellow paper, folded, between the folded hand towels next to the sink.  The quote on that one read:

Holding on to the world is mostly an act of faith: you see a little bit of it front of you and you believe in the rest of it both in time and space.  If you're scheduled for a jump to Hubble on Tuesday you believe in you, in Hubble, in the jump, and in Tuesday.  Sometimes it was hard for me to believe all of it.

I suited up for my reentry into the night and the cold: coat, scarf, hat, gloves.  Off I went.

As I am every year, I am delighted and amazed at all the contributions to the SA4QE this year.  Thanks to all of you for taking part and thanks to Mr. Cooper and for hosting us and most of all, thanks to Russ, the founder of the feast.



Filed under Chicago Illinois United States Fremder Kleinzeit

SA4QE 2014 - Alida Allison (and students) - San Diego, United States

My 107 students in various classes are all reading Hoban this semester. I handed out these quotes to everyone, asking that they place them wherever they like here in San Diego. So I have no pictures but am quite sure the quotes were left in a wonderous assortment of places.

Both quotations were included on one sheet of paper with the following header:

Happy FEB. 4 Birthday, Russell Hoban!

Following a decades-long tradition, Hoban readers around the world circulate their favorite quotes from his 100+ books on his birthday. If these quotes intrigue you, read a book by Hoban-----

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. Along with the dream life there is the life of ideas and half-ideas, of glimmerings and flashes and indescribable atmospheres of the mind. What we actually do in what is called the real world depends largely on how we live this unseen life in our inner world of words and images, songs and bits of poems, names and numbers and memories and dreams remembered and unremembered...

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.

Filed under San Diego United States The Moment under The Moment The Mouse and his Child A Russell Hoban Omnibus

SA4QE 2014 - Katy W - Near Colchester, United Kingdom

I first became aware of the SA4QE in about 2005 from an article in The Guardian. At that time I was mainly housebound with chronic illness, and knew no one else who participated, so I did the event solitarily for several years, leaving sheets of (I have to admit non-yellow) paper around the local village green next to the river. Leaving Hoban’s quotes here felt playful and subversive, a fitting tribute to a quixotic writer. In 2013 I joined Twitter and was excited to connect with a few Hoban fans there, and particularly with one I have become close to, so this year I felt able to participate more collectively, albeit from my cul-de-sac of rural England.

I selected quotes from The Moment Under the Moment, which I’ve been pondering recently, as well as from The Medusa Frequency, my favourite Hoban tome, and duct-taped them up (it was a wild, blustery day) on the green and by the river. I wanted the quotes to express what I love about Hoban - his mix of poetry, profundity and humour, his ability to veer effortlessly from the sublime to the comic. My chosen quotes are also either perennial favourites or ones that have particular personal resonance.

As I was finishing up, a woman with a golden Labrador walked past, stopped, read a couple of the quotes and looked at me. “Oh,” she said. “Oh. Oh.”

“Yes, Oh,” I said.

She nodded and walked off. I felt it was a suitably Hobanesque encounter.

“It is a strange and frightening thing to be a human being, to partake of the mystery and madness of human consciousness.”

“What most people take to be reality is a load of old nonsense invented by not very inventive minds.”

“Hear the earth say itself, ponderous with evening, turning to the night.”

I also left a few much smaller versions of the quotes tucked under baked-bean tins, peanut-butter jars and packets of biscuits in the local village shop. I like the idea, and like to think Hoban would have liked the idea, of someone picking up a can of baked beans and finding underneath a small piece of paper that reads, ‘What most people take to be reality is a load of old nonsense invented by not very inventive minds.’

Filed under Near Colchester United Kingdom The Medusa Frequency The Moment under The Moment