The novel Too Loud a Solitude is told by the main character, Hanta, who tells non traditional love story of his own. This love story isn’t one in which he has fallen in love with a woman, but with books instead. He has worked compacting waste paper with a hydraulic press for thirty-five years. Within those thirty-five years he has managed to find rare and unique books in the piles of waste paper he is supposed to be compacting. He often gets lost in his drunken thoughts, and loses his touch with his reality. His thoughts tend to come over him in waves, telling stories about ex lovers and former university professors. His stories are always in a haze harmoniously going from shit on ribbons and skis to magnificent paintings and literature. In the midst of Hanta losing his mother, as well as an uncle he is faced with the coming era of technological advances and the upcoming youthful brigade of Social Laborists. In the end Hanta refuses to be driven out of his cellar where he compacts waste paper, he refers to his cellar as his paradise (Hrabal, 1976). I saw the main theme in this novel to be love. You can see this theme by how vividly he talks about books, everything in Hanta’s life revolves around literature. Hanta can tie his memories and stories back to any of the rare literature he saves from being compacted. Also within the first sentence he pronounces his love for the books he saves by saying “For thirty-five years now I’ve been in wastepaper, and it’s my love story.” (Hrabal, 1976, p. 1). Hrabal uses unique imagery in Too Loud a Solitude. The imagery is what fuels the story, and allows the reader to come invested in the story. “Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.” (Hrabal, 1976, p. 1).  Hrabal uses repetition to reinforce ideas, as well as important thoughts of the main character. In chapters 1-3, and 6-7 Hanta starts off with mentioning how he has worked in the waste paper business for thirty-five years, and often mentions his hydraulic press. You can also see Hanta’s relationship with alcohol, which is almost the only thing he consumes. Even though he has drank beer for thirty-five years, he hates drunks. “… I’ve had thirty-five years of drinking beer–not that I enjoy it, no, I loathe drunkards, I drink to make me think better, to go to the heart of what I read…” (Hrabal, 1976, p. 3). We only see the world through Hanta’s eyes in Too Loud a Solitude because he is the one telling the story. Hanta views the world through artistic and literary eyes. The reader can see this through his unexpected meetings with Lao-tze, Jesus, and the artistic and literary references throughout the novel. “…not at all upset at the thought of going to Hellas knowing next to nothing about Aristotle or Plato or even Goethe, that extension of ancient Greece…” (Hrabal, 1976, p. 66) this excerpt from Too loud a Solitude shows Hrabals’ use of literary references in the novel. The following excerpt exhibits Hrabals’ use of a higher power “… and watched Jesus, an ardent young man intent on changing the world, rise up and take over Lao-tze’s place at the summit…” (Hrabal, 1976, p. 33).References:Hrabal, B. (1976). Too Loud a Solitude. London: Harcourt Brase.

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