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

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

Archive