Russell Hoban quotations used in SA4QE

This is a list of quotations from Russell Hoban's books used in the annual SA4QE fan event. Click on the novel title for details of that book, or on the "read more" link for details of who chose the quotation and where they left it.

"Pas the sarvering gallack seas and flaming nebyul eye, 

Power us beyont the farthes reaches of the sky,

Thine the han what shapit the black

Guyd us there and guyd us back”.

 

from Mr Rinyo-Clacton’s Offer
 – Russell Hoban –


I took the Edgware Road train to Notting Hill Gate and the Central Line from there to Chancery Lane. The afternoon reality was a low-budget sort of thing I wasn't sure that everything I saw even had a back to it. None of the people in the underground had speaking parts and many of the faces were blank. The Grays Inn Road scenery had been done without much detail – a shop that sold second-hand office furnishings and another that cut keys were fairly realistic but I doubted that the doors actually opened and closed. The Morgenstern building was a little more convincing – a pseudo-Bauhaus thing with practical glass doors.

The security man at the reception desk looked me over critically but I brazened it out, signed in, and took the lift to the third floor. ‘Jonathan Fitch to see Jim Reilly,’ I said to the smart young woman who greeted me. She asked me if I'd like a coffee, I said yes, and she showed me to a conference room filled with business-grade sunlight.

 

Jim Reilly appeared shortly; he looked and sounded pretty much like me. There are probably a lot of people in the potential-realising-and-maximising business who look and sound like us – decent, clean-cut types with good teeth, firm handshakes, and clear eyes that don't blink too much. Jim had about two kilos of bumph under his arm which he laid on the dark and shining table. He took a sheet from the top and handed it to me. ‘I put together a little agenda here,’ he said, ‘of the points I'd like to cover in this first meeting.’ […]

 

My eyes travelled down the agenda but my mind had already fixed on Point 3: CLIENT OBJECTIVES! Did I have any, and what were they? The smart young woman brought in coffee and I drank it while Jim Reilly went on for quite a long time like a TV with the sound turned off. Every now and then he paused to remove some of the papers from the top of the two kilo stack and place them before me while I nodded or tilted my head to one side appreciatively and made such verbal responses as my mouth could manage. Objectives!


Celebrating the late, great writer’s 89th birthday
http://www.russellhoban.org/

[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 

                imaginary.'

Dr Jim Long was born in Pennsylvania, and sometimes when his mind is pedalling in busy circles he recalls a thing from his youth. He recalls a drink of water from a mountain spring in the Appalachians. He was hot and sweaty and tired when he came upon a stone trough with water flowing into it from an iron pipe. Cold sparkling mountain water filling the trough from an iron pipe that was beaded with droplets of condensation. There were leaves and sand and tiny crayfish in the bottom of the trough. He plunged his face into the water and drank the best drink he would ever have in his life. The leaves of the trees were stirring in the summer breeze. Everything was more than itself.

 

As we ate and drank it seemed to both of us that the evening was shaping nicely. I couldn’t remember a time when I had drawn so well or felt so good; I wondered if I’d ever draw that well and feel that good again. Happiness can be unsettling, like catching a baby that someone has thrown out of a window.

'The world-child has been told that this is a world,' said the head [of Orpheus], '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.'

…this time I fealt a Power in me what circelt with it. Membering when the thot come to me: THE ONLYES POWER IS NO POWER. Wel now I sust that wernt qwite it. It aint that its no Power. Its the not sturgling for Power that’s where the Power is. Its in jus letting your self behynt and letting your self be where it says in Eusa 5:

… in tu the hart uv the stoan hart uv the dans. Evere thing blippin & bleapin & movin in the shiftin uv thay Nos. Sum tyms bytin sum tyms bit.

What passes for reality seems to me mostly a load of old nonsense invented by not very inventive minds. The reality that interests me is strange and flickering and haunting

“What are World Songs?”
“My father, Go Anywhere, told me about them,” said John, “the same as his father, Whatever Works, told him. The world is made up of ideas that live in the Mind of Things but before the idea comes the song. In these songs are such things as the taste of starlight on the tongue, the colors of the running of the wolf, the sound of the raven’s blackness, the voices of blue shadows on the snow, the never-stopping stillness of sea-smoothed stones, and the memory of ancient rains that filled the oceans. Without those songs there would be no world.”
“I’ve never heard those songs,” said No Problem.
“You’ve heard them but you don’t remember them. These songs are heard only by children in the belly — that’s why they come out into the world — the songs are so powerful and enticing. Once the children have the actual world in front of them they forget the songs, it would be too sad to remember them — the children would die of sadness because the world has so many bad things in it that aren’t in the songs, only soonchildren hear these songs, no one else.”
Russell Hoban, Soonchild, WHAT SOONCHILD TOLD JOHN, page 23-23, Candlewick Press (2012)

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