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

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

Archive