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


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