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This year I drew my quotes mostly from The Medusa Frequency, the first Russell Hoban book I read. It also has a personal significance for me since one of the most important relationships of my life arose four years ago from a conversation on Twitter about the book, trading favourite quotations back and forth. I also chose a quote from The Moment under The Moment in response to the current political climate, and finally a poem from The Pedalling Man about my home city of London.
As in previous years, I chose three short quotes. My first comes from The Moment Under The Moment and was tacked onto the little jetty on my local river. This passage leaped off the page at me, as if it’d always been waiting for me to find it. I wanted to put it out in the world, so others could find it too - a shot of Hoban as they ambled onto the jetty. I also placed tiny versions of this quote in the local shop, mostly hidden behind packets of food so people would find them as they shopped; one ended up perched on top of a bumper packet of Wagonwheels (see photo).
Author Neil Gaiman presents a short programme on BBC Radio 4, first broadcast 22nd September 2015, about the Orpheus and Eurydice myth and its retelling by contemporary writers including himself, Margaret Atwood and Russell Hoban. Hoban is interviewed briefly about "lostness"; Gaiman reads an extract from The Medusa Frequency. Hoban's daughter Phoebe also contributes briefly about her father's "shamanic" creative methods. The BBC iPlayer link is only available temporarily and will only work in the UK and some other European countries.
Link to all articles on the online version of Granta magazine by Russell Hoban. Subscribers only. Most pieces were later collected in The Moment under The Moment (1992); we have not been able to verify whether the Granta pieces differ from the Moment versions. Titles: Footplacers, London Transport Owls, Wincer-Boise; Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road; Fragments of a Lament for Thelonious Monk; Pan Lives; One Less Octopus at Paxos; A Conversation With The Head of Orpheus; The Boat Train (appears to be an extract or early draft of a chapter from The Medusa Frequency); The Man with the Dagger; The Devil’s Kitchen. Also an extract (likely chapter 1) from Riddley Walker.
I printed a dozen copies, leaving one on the southbound tube train that took me to Clapham Common, another on a park bench, and a couple more at a bus stop I walked past. A couple more I tucked into newspapers at cafes near my place of work, and another in a phone box - not that anyone much uses these nowadays, except for non-telephonic purposes. After work I left another on the train that took me back to Elephant and Castle - noting en route that the park bench copy was still there, although thumbed; left in situ I hope in a spirit of generosity rather than indifference.