TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE is a tender and funny story of Hant'a - a man who has lived in a Czech police state - for 35 years, working as compactor of wastepaper and books. In the process of compacting, he has acquired an education so unwitting he can't quite tell which of his thoughts are his own and which come from his books. He has rescued many from ...
TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE is a tender and funny story of Hant'a - a man who has lived in a Czech police state - for 35 years, working as compactor of wastepaper and books. In the process of compacting, he has acquired an education so unwitting he can't quite tell which of his thoughts are his own and which come from his books. He has rescued many from jaws of hydraulic press and now his house is filled to the rooftops. Destroyer of the written word, he is also its perpetuator. But when a new automatic press makes his job redundant there's only one thing he can do - go down with his ship. This is an eccentric romp celebrating the indestructability- against censorship, political opression etc - of the written word.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-02-10 Czechoslovakian author Hrabal ( I Served the King of England ) pens an absorbing fable about a man who educates himself with the discarded printed matter he collects. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly, 1990-07-27 One of Czechoslovakia's most popular authors, Hrabal ( I Served the King of England ) was never a dissident, nor are his books polemics; he is noted for his visceral, fabulistic prose and bizarre sense of humor. Hanta, the narrator of this absorbing novella, is a gentle alcoholic who has spent 35 years compacting wastepaper. In his messy, subterranean world, the refuse of human life accumulates: bloody butcher paper, office correspondence, yellowed newspapers and, most importantly, books. Able to quote Kant, Goethe and Seneca, he is both ``artist and audience'' as he destroys or selects for his own enjoyment the printed matter others have discarded. Hanta's unusual occupation--in a country which until recently suffered severe literary censorship--is an ironic backdrop as he reflects on the women he has loved or imaginary encounters between historical figures such as Jesus Christ and Lao-tze. This fable about the modern-day equivalent of book-burning, although a showcase for Hrabal's dazzling writing talent, often slides into parody, under the weight of its obtrusive morality. (Sept.)
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