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.


Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


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