Today is the 11th anniversary of Russell Hoban’s 80th birthday. It’s also the anniversary of his birth, and of all his other birthdays… but around here we think of it as Hoban Day. Or SA4QE day. Or a day when other days flutter through and between each other like lost leaves of yellow paper whispering cryptic wisdoms and tales from earlier selves.
I’m 41 this year, older than Russ was when he threw over America’s advertising and tawny plains and big sunny skies and drawing pictures for other people’s stories, for London’s smoky greys and new love and an uncharted literary life. By the time I met Russ, another whole 40 years after that, his turquoise eyes still sparked with the gleam of someone alive to new marvels unfolding with each new day. His literary life had woven its words into my life and the lives of others, and continues to unfold even now, 11 years after I found my way to his cluttered room of books.
I’ve been a bit lost lately, losing myself in a new baby, in the day-in-day-out of the bigger children, and the dramas of the big house grownup life. It felt good in the drought-hot grip of our February summer to remember a February of pale skies and newly-wintered trees, long coats and brand new friendships forged between the Klein bottles and the bats, the bas-relief lions and chariots – and books.
For today’s SA4QE adventures, I chose these three quotations:
I left them in the room of a casting agency called Traffik, where I had to pretend to pose as a statue in a foreign city. Obviously.