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

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

Archive