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

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

Archive