Louise Erdrich - Sunday, July 12, 2009
I have trouble writing this blog post because I take it all so seriously. I still write by hand in art paper notebooks, and am thinking of getting out my old typewriter because I miss typed manuscripts. Then again . . . I am also thinking of writing a whole book on birchbark with my teeth. I do have news of a terrific read. If you like Borges, Saramago, Kafka, Angela Carter, or writers born in Brno in 1914, who died in Prague in 1987, if you liked Bohumil Hrabal's Closely Watched Trains, or if you have never heard of Hrabal and you love books -- this is your book.
Too Loud a Solitude, by Bohumil Hrabal. I read it a month ago. Then I read it again last night. Maybe I'll read it again today. The book is about a man whose job is crushing books. It is a book about loving books and destroying books, about love and destruction, the crushing of ideas, the drinking of beer. It is not a long book, but you will read it again and again. It is a perfect book, I think.
Besides reading this one book again and again, I've been reading newspapers. I have been reading lots of newspapers with the awful feeling that the wonderful feel of print under my fingers, the dry snap as you unfold a newspaper, the paging back and forth, the tactile reality of the newspaper, is going to vanish. So I've suddenly subscribed to several newspapers that I casually picked up every other day at the grocery store. And all I give people for birthdays now is newspaper subscriptions. I am doing this not only for the integrity of the news and the selfish feeling of joy I get when unfolding a newspaper, but for the many people I know who rely on completing the puzzles on newspaper pages -- for the lovely Finnish-American-Upper Peninsula Geology Professor I met on the airplane. He was in his late eighties and had a folded crossword puzzle in his hand. He was stuck but did not want me to brainstorm on an answer. He enjoyed looking at his puzzle last thing before he went to sleep, and waking with the answer. His was too loud a solitude, and puzzles are a friendly noise.
Buy a newspaper today. Or Too Loud A Solitude.
italy Dartmouth The Birchbark House green Birchbark Books Aubrey/Maturin Roberto Bolano Fireworks The Blue Sky Unnatural Disasters World on the Edge Crushing Books Kate DiCamillo Catalyst Remarkable Trees Easter Island Minneapolis Wendy Makoons Geniusz fresh water leaves and snow Anishinabemowin Aza buffalo devoted customers Love Pembina Wolf Hall ptsd gratitude The Round House Up Late Again post holiday reads ependent Peak Oil the most romantic city in the world Hilary Mantel bill mckibben Ojibwe monkey in a dryer NACDI:All My Relations President Obama euphoria thank you friends Magers and Quinn National Book Award Mohamed's Ghosts photography Greenland Rare Books Hillary Clinton Bohumil Hrabal Master Butchers Singing Club Ice Canada incarnation H2Oil Light in August favorite tree ireland Video Native People Vic Glover Climate Change customers aquifer Nemesis Alice Munro Jim Harrison sweden Wastepaper Zombies north dakota Milkweed Press State Troopers More Remarkable Trees france Gail Caldwell Philip Roth support Makoons post holiday The Resilient Gardener Too Loud A Solitude graphix Emily Johnson knowledge Dogs Ha Jin The Game of Silence Afghanistan Stephen Salisbury 350.org tree books Brown Dog Book Review Louise Keystone XL plants friends peculiar touches of green and gold British Navy favorite dog mississippi spring boarding school Patrick O'Brian twins Population Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge Too Much Happiness The Farmer's Daughter Tar Sands cafe closing Michael Jackson local economy Keepers of the Trees adventure cafe china S.C. Gwynne Islam The Royal Prussian Library Kabul Gryphon Press Tree Houses gardens Let's Take the Long Way Home Peak Water language revitalization Bleak House japan neighborhood Poetry city of books how good looking you are thanks Czech Writer germany Women and Trees Interview This Green World Kenwood Gardens Anishinabe joy E.L. Doctorow Native Arts solstice, Thomas King health care reform The Wealth of Nature Nero Collective Denial Alan Weisman Empire of the Summer Moon 2666 Gary Clement favorite book Green Team book and dinner club Small Bookstores as Commons The Transition Handbook Chitra Divakaruni Ojibwemowin Victory Gardens coyote Education Anton Treuer Botany The Ojibwe The Porcupine Year Chickadee anniversary birchbark house series Minnesota Bill Moyers Journal Mankato Powwow show your love Guthrie Theater Beth Dooley School Gardens William Trevor trees Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive pilgrims