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

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

Archive