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

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

Archive