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.
Zombies The Wealth of Nature Catalyst language revitalization Bohumil Hrabal Light in August thank you friends Keepers of the Trees Hillary Clinton Gryphon Press S.C. Gwynne Population President Obama germany Islam twins Small Bookstores as Commons More Remarkable Trees Up Late Again Empire of the Summer Moon Philip Roth post holiday reads ependent Czech Writer Rare Books fresh water H2Oil Afghanistan Victory Gardens Hilary Mantel Remarkable Trees Poetry Louise Patrick O'Brian incarnation local economy National Book Award buffalo Native People Unnatural Disasters NACDI:All My Relations The Blue Sky Education Ha Jin Tar Sands spring photography The Royal Prussian Library Ice World on the Edge Fireworks coyote thanks Mohamed's Ghosts gratitude leaves and snow tree books Too Loud A Solitude Birchbark Books The Game of Silence Bleak House Canada euphoria graphix customers The Transition Handbook Minnesota favorite book Stephen Salisbury Makoons city of books how good looking you are Botany Anton Treuer trees monkey in a dryer peculiar touches of green and gold William Trevor The Porcupine Year book and dinner club Roberto Bolano Kenwood Gardens mississippi north dakota Nero The Resilient Gardener Nemesis plants Milkweed Press Ojibwe British Navy The Farmer's Daughter aquifer favorite dog School Gardens Book Review Dogs show your love italy ireland Easter Island Wolf Hall adventure cafe closing Tree Houses Alice Munro Women and Trees health care reform favorite tree the most romantic city in the world japan Dartmouth Wastepaper Anishinabemowin solstice, Thomas King Guthrie Theater Emily Johnson Chitra Divakaruni Ojibwemowin anniversary Greenland Native Arts joy france Brown Dog Pembina Love The Ojibwe cafe 2666 Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge The Birchbark House Green Team Beth Dooley Peak Oil Mankato Powwow Wendy Makoons Geniusz Chickadee Minneapolis E.L. Doctorow State Troopers Let's Take the Long Way Home Magers and Quinn Keystone XL china The Round House 350.org sweden Crushing Books Master Butchers Singing Club knowledge Collective Denial Kate DiCamillo Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive support Vic Glover neighborhood Aza bill mckibben ptsd pilgrims Climate Change Michael Jackson Aubrey/Maturin post holiday Bill Moyers Journal gardens Interview Kabul boarding school green Video devoted customers Jim Harrison This Green World Anishinabe Gail Caldwell friends Peak Water Alan Weisman Gary Clement Too Much Happiness birchbark house series