SA4QE - The Slickman A4 Quotation Event

This fan event began in 2002 as a unique way of spreading the words of Russell Hoban. Every 4th February (Russell's birthday), readers around the world write their favourite quotations from his books on sheets of yellow A4 paper (the sort he used) and leave them in public places, and/or share them on social media with the hashtags #sa4qe and #russellhoban. Contributed photos and commentary were posted from 2002 to 2012 on the SA4QE site and then following this site's launch in 2012 new posts were uploaded here. Due to technical and resource issues we will no longer be including new posts here, but fans are welcome to continue celebrating! Below is an archive of the posts to this site. We hope you enjoy these.

SA4QE 2014 - dogfrendy - Melbourne, Australia

$10.26 well spent.

I was accidentally reminded of todays significance by a colleague, my mind somehow connecting a statement of hers to a book, followed by a half remembrance and a Google search. 

A pleasant serendipity in a week of less than pleasing coincidences. It led, in fairly short order, to the oddly cathartic activity of taping sheets of yellow paper to.......things.

At some point the quotes took charge. I was pulling them out of my bag at random and it was windy and it was getting too dark but it all seemed to make a perfect kind of sense and I ended up spending several hours dispensing Hoban to the inner city.    

“If we'd been edible we'd never have lasted this long.” 

42 sheets of yellow paper this year.   

SA4QE is something I have long meant to be contribute to, but have routinely overlooked. I shall look forward to participating again in years to come.

Unless I forget.

Filed under Melbourne Australia The Mouse and his Child

SA4QE 2014 - K. A. Laity - Twitter/Facebook/Dundee, United Kingdom

In keeping with a very Hobaninan spirit, I am writing in bed, so afeared that I would not acutally venture out and about to leave a sheet of A4 somewhere in town (if I do, I will amend this), I created a virtual sheet of A4 which I shared on Twitter and Facebook. I will also add it to the blog entry I'm writing today. I wanted something uplifting and inspiring, so I went to The Mouse and His Child for hope in a difficult world.

"All roads, whether long or short, are hard," said Frog. "Come, you have begun your journey, and all else necessarily follows from that act. Be of good cheer. The sun is bright. The sky is blue. The world lies before you."

Filed under Twitter/Facebook/Dundee United Kingdom The Mouse and his Child

SA4QE 2013 - John - Melbourne, Australia

Once time passed after 4qating, I let a bit more pass, and a bit more, and here we are in May and I'm finally putting a little report together. It's getting colder and darker in this part of the world. The mysterious, exciting time of the year.

And I have to say this year is already on track to be the best of my life. Which means there have been times when Russ' absence has been so painfully intense and frustrating. Yet it is only because there has been so much presence that I can smile even at this.

Anyway, I chose this quote because at the time, when things were starting to go so well for me, I kept thinking of Russ and all he taught me. And both lines have recurring Russ themes - the second one always making me grin. I pasted it under a Richmond bridge: a strange, yellow-lit place with lots of train-rumbling that always makes me think I'm in a Hoban novel, about to meet some semi-dangerous weirdo with a blue guitar who'll show me a door under there I've never noticed....

    Dr Mzumi made another note in Klein’s folder. ‘A CT brain scan and a carotid angiogram might be a good idea. They’ll send you an appointment.’

      ‘Thank you. One day you’ll be old and pissing in two streams too. Sorry. Bye-bye.’

(Photo courtesy of Mike Lowe's flickr:


Filed under Melbourne Angelica's Grotto

SA4QE 2013 - Emmae - Argyll, United Kingdom

There’s a doctor who wants to look into my eyes today, 4 Feb 2013.  Strange, there was a doctor who wanted to hold my hands this very day in 2004.  Different town, different stones and oceans, but a familiar blend of coincidence and palimpsest.  Man of the day, Hoban.  Destination, Oban.  Me, ‘lorn and loan and oansome’ at the Lorn and Islands Hospital.  Nothing dramatic but it’s the best I can do in this gale, bag replete with the reqwyrt materials.  Décor is dawn blue, highland water springs from the wall and piped music softly plays golden oldies… Leader of The Pack…  Can’t help thinking about death in these places no matter how fresh and light, but everyone here is older than me, I swear.  Twenty minutes of Kleinzeit, then I’m summoned by Dr. Z-something-old-testament.  Slight and dark, he never smiles as he makes notes and pumps gallons of white light into my streaming eyes, hands me tissues and tells me the bad news.  I’d forgotten Dr. Z. might want to see the birthmark on my retina – by the time my dilated pupils and I stagger back to the waiting room, there are looks of, “What is she on!”  Now, how will I see to complete my 4quation?  How drive to the supermarket?  I can only do what people do here, wait.  The distortions will pass; find a corner, pretend to read, and presently the place is empty; lunchtime.  I spread everything out on the table and take the black pen to the A4 yellow, blinking.  Big block caps.  Fold it, name it, links and hints, plant it in a rack of NHS booklets on Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators.  As I leave, people are starting to arrive again.  A tall sprightly man, wearing glasses and a navy-blue, Joseph Conrad/Russell Hoban cap, says he likes my hat, a fuchsia-pink beanie with sparkles.  He asks if we can swap.  He is walking towards the rack, smiling.  I go out feeling sure he’ll be the one to find the yellow paper and smile some more.

“My mind is subject to fits of strangeness; this morning coming to work I looked out of the bus window at people talking, crossing the road, running to catch the bus and I thought, all this is really only Death dressing himself up as people talking, crossing the road, running to catch the bus.  Ought a doctor to see things in that way?”

Lines from ‘Come Dance With Me’ by Russell Hoban, writer, 1925-2011

Filed under Argyll UK Come Dance With Me