Items through September 8, 1998
(Sphinx photo is by Mr. Hoban's sister Tana)
For recent items, see the main Guestbook page
Received September 8 1998:
Hi, and wow! A Russell Hoban page! I don't go surfing around much, as
I try to work, but now and again I just have to have a treat. So I
looked, and there you were. Thanks -- I'm a great fan, especially of
The Mouse and His Child. I also think Ursula LeGuin is a genius, and
I'm going to look at her page now. No great message -- just thanks.
Jane Hyde, Arden, North Carolina, USA
Received August 12 1998:
I was loaned a copy of Riddley Walker and was so immersed that I had trouble understanding the english language for a while. My mind was moving in elliptical word-loops, running in tandem with the book.
I have since recovered, as you can see.
Sarah Walker, USA
Received August 5 1998:
Hi Dave, I teach lit at San Diego State Univ and I also like Russell Hoban
very much. Great to see your page. I'm editing a book right now of
essays, Russell Hoban/Forty Years: Essays on His Writings for
Children--academic stuff but with scholars from around the world. I use
The Mouse and His Child and Riddley Walker in my classes all the
time--and The Marzipan Pig and The Sea-Thing Child. Best wishes on your page--it's really cool.
alida allison, USA
Received August 3 1998:
I first read The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz when I was an American ex-pat living near London. One rainy afternoon I decided to spend some time at the British Museum; bypassing the usual star attractions, I wandered into the section devoted to Assyria, and found myself in a narrow passageway lined with bas-relief sculptures of a lion hunt that had been excavated from the palace of Ashurbanipal. I sat down on a bench to consider them ... and found myself looking directly at a relief of a lion biting the wheel of a chariot.
It was yer basic epiphany. I was sitting at an interstice of fiction and reality! I think I actually shouted. On my way out I picked up the museum's monograph on Assyrian sculpture because it included that lion, and I still have it 15 years later. That I also once lived in Lansdale is surely the basis for a granfalloon.
Thank you so much for creating this website. I hope you continue to maintain it, and I hope that it continues to be visited by Mr. Hoban.
All the best -- Sandra Smith (Asteroid Lil), Lakeland, Florida USA email@example.com
Received June 24 1998:
I first encountered Russell Hoban's work in the movie version of The Mouse and His Child when I was very young. It always upset me (but fascinated me,
especially The Last Visible Dog), and I could never quite figure out why.
Even watching it relatively recently, it still affected me in the same way.
There is a strange, rather intangible sadness about the book. It never
seemed to me to be a story for kids. I discovered Hoban's other books
later, and he is still one of my favorite authors. Anyway, great page! Nicely organized, and chock-full of good quotations. I was looking for a page just like this one--it's rare that someone does such a thorough page on a person or topic, but you have! Keep up the good work,
Vicky, USA firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/8238
Received June 22 1998:
Man, you put the "U Sell Hoban" back in Russell Hoban. I'm a newcomer,
but you make him sound awfully good. I've read through a bit of the
site, and I'm a-coming back later. Thanks for the tip. Does this mean
you already know about Donald Barthelme, my current fave? My friend has
a good site for his stuff at www.jessamyn.com.
Putting the "Ho Burns A Sell" back in Russell Hoban,
Ari Frede, USA
Received June 22 1998:
Hello, Dave! I enjoy the site--very well done, loaded with links, and
excellent writing. It prompted me to forward it on to a few people, and
also to visit your personal home page...I look forward to scouring for Russell Hoban books--I have added his titles to my Books & Authors list. I have heard of Riddley Walker, and already had that on my list. Take care, please.
Craig Easly, USA
Received June 21 1998:
Thanks - great site and a super intro to Mr Hoban.
Cheers - Gay Sweeney, Wellington, New Zealand
Received June 17 1998:
Hello Dave, what a pleasure - a new Site for Russell Hoban enthusiastics. I appreciate your site very much. I always wondered why there is so little information on Hoban available in the internet. But now...
Best wishes for your site,
Olaf Schneider, Germany email@example.com
Received June 14 1998:
Dear Mr. Awl, Chris Bell sent me an E-mail the other day in which he gave a glowing
account of your work in relation to The Head of Orpheus - an official Russell Hoban reference page. I must admit a lack of education with regard to Russell Hoban but hope to rectify matters soon. As a writer myself (currently trying to place my second recently completed manuscript of a novel), I know how important writing is in one's life, so wish you every success with your latest venture. Chris really enthuses about your work and it is nice that writers can help each other by networking in this way. My own, albeit humble efforts, can be seen on http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/NutmegIsland.
All the best
Hazel A. Speed
Received June 10 1998:
Beautifully done, Dave! It is both a wonderful and aggravating thing
that there are still so many Hoban books out there to be read, and which
seem inaccessible. I mean, I still haven't read all the Frances books
yet, much less some those so enticingly described and reviewed here.
Thanks for bringing them to our attention and for waving the scent of
them around so that we may try to track them down.
The source of my own soup,
Diana Slickman, USA Diana_Slickman@gbop.org
Received June 9 1998:
Well Dave, you did it. I've had only a brief chance to take an amble around 'The Head
of Orpheus'. Thanks for all your hard work. As anyone who has spent hours
on the search engines looking for The Greatest Living Novelist on the
Internet in vain will know, this site is long overdue.
I'm assuming that anyone who is reading this is already a Hoban 'convert' -
or will now be on their way to becoming one. We should all join Dave in
doing our best to make this the most interesting, provocative and
atmospheric site on the web; in short, one that goes at least some way
towards doing justice to the writer whose Body of Work is among the finest
there is in the English language. I'm sure Dave (and the Head of Orpheus)
will have open ears to all the constructive suggestions and creative
contributions you can make. May the Head of Orpheus swim and swim.
Regards, Chris Bell, New Zealand
"...There is a mystery that even God cannot fathom, nor can he give the law
of it on two stone tablets. He cannot speak what there are no words for; he
needs divers to dive into it; he needs wrestlers to wrestle with it,
singers to sing it, lovers to love it. He cannot deal with it alone, he
must find helpers, and for this does he blind some and maim others."
RUSSELL HOBAN, 'Pilgermann'.
(He needs people to write web-pages for him, too.)
Received June 9 1998:
Your site is wonderful! I just spent a half hour on it! I'm going to read more of his books now. The site is obviously a labor of love...
--Corbin Collins, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to The Head of Orpheus: a Russell Hoban Reference Page (home page).