Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Too Loud A Solitude

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.

Louise   

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

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

Archive