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

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

Archive