SA4QE - The Slickman A4 Quotation Event

The Slickman A4 Quotation Event ("SA4QE") began in 2002 as a unique way of spreading the words of Russell Hoban. Every 4th February (Russell's birthday), fans 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 online. 

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Reports will be published below as they come in. See also SA4QE 2015 on Twitter

SA4QE 2015 - Alastair Bickley - London, United Kingdom

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. The copy in the phone kiosk was still there two days later, before at last disappearing. It's good to be back.

Various quotes from The Medusa Frequency, The Moment Under the Moment and My Tango with Barbara Strozzi.

Filed under London United Kingdom My Tango with Barbara Strozzi The Medusa Frequency The Moment under The Moment

SA4QE 2015 - Alida Allison - Colorado, United States

My first quote for 2015 is from Hoban’s 1975 The Sea-Thing Child. The second quote is from the novel Pilgermann, published in 1983, set during the Crusades, and said by the Jewish Pilgermann to his Muslim friend Bembel Rudzuk near the end of the story.

That night the sea-thing child heard the air humming. He looked up at the sky for the star that he always looked at, but it was blotted out. He could not see the star with his eyes, but in the dark of his mind he saw it burning and flickering over the sea. The humming of the air grew louder, and the sea-thing child stepped out of his double circle and faced into the wind. The ocean was high and wild, and the sky and the sea roared together, heaving in the dark.

The sea-thing child spread his wings to keep from falling down, and the wind blew him backwards. He moved forwards against the wind, then he began to run, faster and faster. The beach slipped away under him, he laughed, and flapped his wings and flew up into the storm.

'To me it seems that the best we can hope for in this life is honesty of error; more than that is just not to be expected.'

Filed under Colorado United States Pilgermann The Sea-Thing Child

SA4QE 2015 - Diana Slickman - Chicago Illinois, United States

I got a late start this year. Around 9 p.m. I left work, clutching my yellow paper and a roll of tape, and headed to the Howard Street terminal of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). I had it in mind to post a my quote at the station, which is the terminus for 3 train lines and a number of bus lines serving the north side. The quote, from Linger Awhile, was printed out in a large legible font on two sheets and handwritten on one. One of the printed sheets I folded up and put into the receipt tray of a vending machine that dispenses tickets and passes for the CTA. I boarded a red line train, going south, thinking I'd tape a quote to the back of a seat or some place but I was presented with a better opportunity. On the train, near the doors, are holders for placards, usually for announcements about service disruptions or changes. The one in the car I was in was empty. It happens that the CTA uses almost the same color of yellow as our A4 paper for these alerts and it happens that my yellow paper fit perfectly into the the holder. I begged the pardon of the young man sitting below this holder and slipped my quote into the frame. I exited at the next stop and while waiting for a northbound train to take me back to the Howard terminal, I taped my handwritten quote onto the corner of a large McDonald's advertisement, because the golden arches matched my paper. "I'm Lovin' It!" the billboard said.
"Yeah, right," the quote replied. Here's what was posted.

The trains were not crowded and none of the passengers were talking into little telephones or smiling as they tapped out text messages. Some were reading books or newspapers. All of the faces, young, old, male, female, white and brown and black, were part of the many faces of the great sad thing that moves itself from here to there and back again in all forms of transport.

Selected, as per my usual procedure, the book from the stack, the page from the book, the quote from the page, pretty much at random. I added the name of the book and, of course, the author and "This quote was placed here as part of an annual world-wide event that takes place on February 4th to celebrate Russell Hoban’s birthday, the man, and his works. Your finding it and reading it are part of the celebration. Cheers!"

I went home and uncorked a bottle of 16-year old raw cask Bowmore that I keep on hand for special occasions and toasted Russ. I thought of the quote, riding the train all night, down to the city's far south side and back up north again, being noticed, or not, by the few passengers who would not be talking or texting, and I thought of the CTA worker who would find it in the morning as he or she cleaned out the train, bundled up against a very cold February day. Here's to them. And to all of you who 4Qated this year. And, of course, to 90 years of Russ!

Filed under Chicago Illinois United States Linger Awhile

SA4QE 2015 - Katy W - Colchester, United Kingdom

For the last few years I have put up quotes in my village for sa4qe on my own, so it was lovely to be able to do it this year with my boyfriend, Rik, whom I met through a conversation on Twitter about Hoban. We bonded through our mutual love of The Medusa Frequency in particular. I live next to a river and wanted my first quote - sellotaped to the local lifebuoy - to be one of Hoban's lyrical evocations of the natural world; this mix of lyricism and natural elements feels romantic too.

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

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

Rik and I wandered along to the river jetty. While he was taping up his quote on one side of this, I taped my second one to the other side. This quote is a perennial favourite, showing Hoban's trademark profundity and comedy, and one I feel random strangers should be subjected to regularly. We were watched by two men on a nearby boat, one of whom later sauntered over to investigate and then grinned as he walked past us.

Sometimes in the small hours of the morning, while [X] sleeps peacefully beside me, I sit up in the dark, feeling myself and the world moving from the known to the unknown...

My final quote went up on the village Notice Board. Coming from the last page of Fremder, when the character feels optimistic and romantic, when the world feels full of 'becoming', this has personal resonance (I took out the name of Fremder's girlfriend so the piece could be read as a woman speaking in the first person too).

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

Lastly, we went to the local village shop where I left smaller versions of my quotes under or on baked bean tins, jelly packets, pots of baking soda. Rik was official quote-on-tin photographer as well as the 'look-out', ensuring our Hobanesque antics weren't spotted by the staff. I like the idea of people lifting a food tin and finding a Hoban quote under it about the nature of reality.

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

Pages

SA4QE archives 2002-2012

The original SA4QE website recorded quotations from when the event started in 2002, up to February 2012.

SA4QE 2015 on Twitter

The tweets below, all celebrating SA4QE, were archived from 4 February 2015 by Thoughtcat. Some tweets are from the official russellhobanorg account but most are from other users who took part in SA4QE via Twitter. Scroll down within the box to see older tweets. Larger versions of some of these tweets can be seen on this page. Together with the posts on this website, these form a comprehensive record of Russell Hoban quotations shared during SA4QE 2015.

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