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


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