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

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

Archive