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


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