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


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