Too Loud A Solitude
‘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. Every evening he rescues books from the jaws of his hydraulic press, carries them home, and fills his house with them. 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. Hanta may be an idiot, as his boss calls him, but he is an idiot with a difference – the ability to quote the Talmud, Hegel, and Lao-tzu. But when a new automatic press makes his job redundant there’s only one thing he can do – go down with his ship.
In this baroque and winsome tale, Hrabal celebrates the power and the indestructibility of the written word.