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   
Comments
Kathy Streitz commented on 14-Jul-2009 09:30 PM
I enjoyed your address to Dartmouth graduates. Did you bring the podium with you? You could have. I just finished a teacher's course with St. Mary's of Winona. We met in Stillwater. Multiculturally Responsive Literature and Teaching English Language Learners. Your name came up many times. My husband have me your book Four Souls for my 50th birthday three years ago. I started it again for the third time and refer to the family tree often. Four Souls is so much more than a story. I enjoy reading and jumping in and out of the story. Mauser's son's condition makes me sad right now.

I teach at a charter school in East St. Paul. We have just finished our 14th year and have about 450 PreK - 8th graders. Hmong, Hispanic and other families speaking many languages
attend. I do love what I do. Thanks for your work and for your words.
KS

KS
Marybeth Lorbiecki commented on 27-Jul-2009 01:07 PM
I was so inspired and thrilled about your speech that I wrote a blog about it and about Ohiyesa, Charles Alexander Eastman -- hope that's okay! www.Ohiyesa-Eastman.blogspot.com
Tracy Mangold commented on 05-Aug-2009 08:12 PM
Thank you for recommending, "Too Loud a Solitude." I just finished reading it today and I loved it. Hrabal's writing is rich and beautiful, simplistic yet powerful. It is indeed the perfect book, especially for those of us who adore our books and appreciate them for the friends and teachers they are. I look forward to reading more of his works and am thankful that I have been made aware of this wonderful writer.
Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

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

Archive