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


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