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


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