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

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

Archive