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

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

Archive