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


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