Author Topic: Russell Hoban  (Read 2062 times)

Offline JSC

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Russell Hoban
« on: December 14, 2011, 04:04:23 pm »
I just heard that Russell Hoban died last night. Sad news.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/14/russell-hoban-dies-86

Strangely, I just finished a piece of writing yesterday afternoon in which I referred to the mythological idea of 'shades', existence continuing in the underworld after death. I didn't make the reference explicit, but I was thinking quite specifically of Hoban's libretto for the Birtwistle opera The Second Mrs Kong, in which all of the characters are shades.
Auch Engeln sind immer unterwegs.

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 04:21:35 pm »
That's very sad. His Riddley Walker and Pilgermann in particular are things I still return to now and again, both having had a deep and lasting effect. (I don't know his opera libretti at all though.)

Offline martle

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 04:29:51 pm »
Riddley Walker and Pilgermann

Yes indeed - the former knocked me sideways, not least in the way it managed to invent a credible post-apocalyptic language that 'children' would understand.

The '2nd Mrs Kong' libretto was rather fine, as I remember - although it came in for some panning on first outing I think.

RIP
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Offline Il Grande Inquisitor

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 05:59:41 pm »
I knew his work as a children's author - The Mouse and his Child was acknowledged as a classic, but personally I adored The Dancing Tigers - an exquisitely written (and illustrated) story which captivated all ages, the tigers' dancing driving the Rajah out hunting them to his own death.

Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency....

Offline oliver sudden

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 11:47:22 pm »
How Tom beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen :)

Offline Sally Ayrey

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 01:04:30 am »
Gosjh I didn't know this guy at all, was he any good?

Offline JSC

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 01:14:31 am »
Gosh I didn't know this guy at all, was he any good?
I think the Guardian article I linked to gives a fairly good idea of that, doesn't it?

There's also http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/nov/23/fiction which is fairly in-depth and very interesting.

His son Wieland is a composer and a noted translator (of several things by Adorno, of the Celan-Ingeborg Bachmann correspondence, of several things on contemporary music [including a few liner notes on Kairos etc.], and most recently I think of Bubbles, a book of eco-philosophy by Peter Sloterdijk).
Auch Engeln sind immer unterwegs.

Offline JSC

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Re: Russell Hoban
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 03:05:44 am »
There's now a full (if rather hastily written, to judge from a couple of awkwardly similar locutions across different paragraphs) obituary at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/14/russell-hoban.
Auch Engeln sind immer unterwegs.