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

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

Archive