May 24, 2018

"You would think people might be put off, but they weren’t. Not when Mr. Sedaris wrote 'Christ died for you' in one woman’s book..."

"... or when in another’s book he drew a picture of a three-legged bear with blood spewing from its stump because, he said, it had stepped on a land mine; or when he wrote 'you will not be alone forever' in the book of a fan who said she was single. Nor did anyone mind when he asked a (nonpregnant) woman if she might have an abortion this summer and then advised her to 'do it while you still can, because you may not be able to have one in the future'; or when he wrote 'you’re using that cane as a crutch' to a reader with a limp; or when he said, 'What happened to your mother — is she dead?' to a man named Richard, who wanted a book signed for his father. 'She is to him,' Richard said. Mr. Sedaris drew a little person and gravestone with 'R.I.P.' written on it. 'Here is your father looking at the ashes of his failed marriage,' he explained."

From "David Sedaris Leaves His Audiences Weeping. And Still Wanting More" (NYT), which has an audio snippet from Sedaris's new book, "Calypso" (which, of course, I will buy... he's my favorite voice for playing under my pillow every night... it's what keeps me sharp and well-rested).

27 comments:

Mark said...

"You would think people might be put off, but they weren’t.

That's disputable. Not every one is immune to the smell of ass. People who themselves are assholes might not smell it, but a lot of non-assholes do.

David-2 said...

A feature blogger should implement is a way to filter blogs so you don't see posts with a certain tag. For example, the tag "David Sedaris".

I have no idea who he is, but this post right here gives me a strong inclination to avoid him, whoever he is. Movies? Hip-hop? Book signing sort of implies "author" of some kind but not necessarily someone who's schtick is writing. I've got no idea and it's going to stay that way.

And that's because after looking at these horrible things above I stupidly clicked on the "David Sedaris" tag to see some other posts about this guy. And having browsed a page of them, I can now say: No more. Ever. I just don't care.

tim in vermont said...

His book “Theft by Finding” is perfect for keeping in a room where you need reading material you can pick up and read for a few minutes and then put down when you are finished, and don’t want to worry that you might lose the thread of it. If you have such a room in your home. This is not a putdown, BTW, it’s a good book, IMHO, though probably not everybody’s cup of tea. A lot of dry humor there not necessarily tipped off by some kind of a laugh track.

Expat(ish) said...

I would be more charmed if he reminded me less of Twain or Thurber.

-XC

rhhardin said...

Christ died for you never made any sense to me, starting in Sunday school.

I figure it must be a translation mistake.

wild chicken said...

BTW, someone here put me on to a Wolfe book I hadn't read, Mauve Gloves, and I was amazed at what a good characaturist he was. Cartoons all through that thing to go with his essays.

What a monster talent.

Sam L. said...

Sedaris: Not funny to me.

Molly said...

(Eaglebeak)

I am familiar with Sedaris. A little goes a long way.

Teller said...

David Sedaris nearly killed me the last time I saw him. I couldn't breathe.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks for introducing me to Sedaris several years ago. He is an amazing mind and communicator, although he uses rather raw subjects. I finally asked my wife to listen to one of his books with me, and instead of being offended as I feared, she was fascinated with him. And that is a high rating.

Humperdink said...

"Christ died for you never made any sense to me, starting in Sunday school."

You might try finishing the book. It might make sense then.

Luke Lea said...

"rhhardin said...
Christ died for you never made any sense to me, starting in Sunday school.

I figure it must be a translation mistake."

Try this:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ccu91wcovedefH6WbdWaEz6F_uzvy8tab7GHoZBv1BQ/edit?usp=sharing

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Humperdink said...

You might try finishing the book. It might make sense then.

Not really. It kinda jumped the shark there at the end, what with the four horseman and all that crap.

MayBee said...

I love Sedaris and would be thrilled with anything he chose to say to me.

Ken B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Not really. It kinda jumped the shark there at the end, what with the four horseman and all that crap.

LOL.

For a brief second, reading backwards in the comments, I was trying to figure out which Sedaris book you were talking about.

Ken B said...

If you're a star they let say anything, call their father a pussy.

Henry said...

Kudos to the guy named Richard who had the perfect comeback.

Henry said...

Why would anyone be put off by a dark humorist being dark and humorous? Is there someone who went to one of his book signings thinking he was Oprah?

Tank said...

I read a couple of his books and thought they were pretty entertaining.

Ann Althouse said...

“You might try finishing the book. It might make sense then.”

Ah, yes. It’s such a relief when it’s all explained in the end. As you know, I am a big fan of news from the future.

Donatello Nobody said...

I went to one of his evening thingies at Symphony Hall in Boston a couple of years ago. He came onstage wearing something suitable on top (shirt and tie if I recall correctly) and a pair of culottes. He was very happy with himself about this sartorial choice, and of course the left-of-center, twee-friendly audience thought it was hye-larious. I thought his talk was amusing enough, but he's so cynical that I left feeling more or less hopeless about the human race. He can be very funny (his Santaland Diaries, for example -- Billie Holiday singing "Away in a Manger") but ever since that evening I've tried to avoid him.

smartsy said...

His sister Amy is quite funny and quick witted as well. Just watch her past interviews with David Letterman on YouTube.

rhhardin said...

Levinas had a better explanation of Jesus.

"We have just seen that the Messiah is the just man who suffers, who has taken on the suffering of others. Who finally takes on the suffering of others, if not the being who says "me" [Moi]?

The fact of not evading the burden imposed by the suffering of others defines ipseity itself. All persons are the Messiah."

_Difficult Freedom_ p.89

That coupled with Levinas's observation elsewhere, that being called on is what makes you unique and irreplaceable, it makes you for the first time yourself. Analogous to being saved.

Take religion as a poeticization of ethics.

KL Richards said...

Can you please comment or front page tips on listening in bed? Based on your suggestion, I have tried it and am a big fan. Helps to wind down and get much better rest. But I haven’t found good earphones/speakers or ideal method. Tips would be great.

Humperdink said...

AA responded: "Ah, yes. It’s such a relief when it’s all explained in the end. As you know, I am a big fan of news from the future."

What I find interesting is the number of prophecies mentioned in the book that have come to fruition already. Which is why reading the whole book might be revealing to some. OTOH, mockers and skeptics will never be persuaded.

mikee said...

Steven Wright said, ""I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world... perhaps you've seen it."

Compare that to Sedaris, and tell me which is the more amusing.