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 via this site or on social media with the hashtags #sa4qe and/or #russellhoban

  • Read Diana Slickman's article about how SA4QE began
  • The most recent posts to this site are displayed below in descending order.

    SA4QE 2020 - Ra McGuire - White Rock, Canada

    This year on Russ’s naming day, a morning snowstorm transformed my SA4QE plans. My yellow paper was left at a local mall - very busy today with White Rockers (my neighbors here in White Rock, BC) hastily doing their shopping before the snow gets any deeper. I did the same - and taped Russ’s words to a semi-sheltered mail box. Best regards to my fellow SA4QE conspirators from the west coast of Canada!

    Time's arrow, we are told, is a one-way thing... Memory's arrow, like the needle of a compass too close to a lodestone, spins in all directions.

    Filed under White Rock Canada Amaryllis Night and Day

    SA4QE 2019 - Roland Clare - Bristol UK, United Kingdom

    The studio was two storeys high with a skylight; for a moment we stood in darkness looking up at the sky, then Roswell switched on two banks of fluorescent lights and there leapt into view a crucified crash-dummy. ‘Oh my God,’ I said.  Up there on the cross it looked enormous at first but then I realised it was only life-size.

    The cross was leaning against the wall as if the figure had just been nailed to it and raised up to hang there until dead. The figure was of pale wood, unpainted except for the usual black-and-yellow discs, the blood from the wound in its side and those in its hands and feet; there was also a little blood from the shiny chromium crown of thorns on its bald and eyeless head. The figure was more elongated than the dummies I’d seen in photographs and on television; this had an El Greco effect that accentuated the pain not visible on the blankness of the face. The cross was of a rough dark wood that heightened the pale vulnerability of the body. There was no INRI. 

    After the first shock a wave of sadness swept over me; my throat ached and my nose tingled and I thought I might cry but I didn’t. This sadness wasn’t from the crash-dummy Christ but from thinking of the poorness of spirit that had led Roswell to spend all those hours carving it. His soul must be absolutely skint, I thought, for him to come up with this. The reduction of Christ to a dummy made to crash into the wall of our sins, the stripping of a complex and haunting idea to a simplistic metaphor, made me so sorry for Roswell that my heart opened to him and I wanted to take him in my arms and rock him like a baby. I realised that I was standing there looking gobsmacked and I tried to find something to say.

    Filed under Bristol UK United Kingdom The Bat Tattoo

    SA4QE 2019 - Ra McGuire - White Rock BC, Canada

    "Trubba not"

    “Trubba not.”

    Kind words for the world in a troubled time.

    Here in White Rock BC, a powerful storm recently smashed unmoored boats into our iconic pier - taking out a large part of it’s middle and disconnecting it from the shore. You can see the gap in the distance. So today’s yellow paper also offers solace and comfort to the locals.

    All the very best to my fellow SA4QE conspirators from the West coast of Canada. Happy Birthday, Russ.

    Filed under White Rock BC Canada Riddley Walker

    SA4QE 2018 - Roland Clare - Bristol, United Kingdom

    Shakespeare didn't invent Caliban; Caliban invented Shakespeare (and Sigmund Freud, and one or two others). Caliban is one of those hungry ideas, always looking for someone to word him into being so he can have another go and maybe win Miranda this time or next time. Caliban is a necessary idea. I can imagine The Tempest without Ferdinand but not without Caliban. 

    Filed under Bristol United Kingdom The Moment under The Moment