What type of relationship do you as a reader have with Sedaris? How would you describe it? How did Sedaris make this relationship between he the author and you the reader a reality?
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Sedaris’ writing allows readers to form a connection with him, beyond just words on a page. He writes a lot about normal experiences and human interactions. This really allowed me to relate to and empathize with his writing and his stories because his stories, at its core, are about human experiences and human interactions. Although it’s not exactly the same, I tend to find myself thinking of the similarities in my experiences and the experiences Sedaris writes about. There’s something fascinating about the simplicity of his stories. Interactions with his family and the endurance of his family ties is what captivated me the most from “Me Talk Pretty One Day”. Even the mundane experiences have a story to tell, and that is what Sedaris’ writing is all about.
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21 October 2021
My relationship with Sedaris is somewhat different from the one I had with Samantha Irby. They both write in a sarcastic tone while observing their surroundings. His conformity to social norms and the attempts to force those norms upon others. He tries to outweigh the negativity of insults while struggling to learn it. The relationship I have with Sedaris is still being a reader. I wouldn’t necessarily say he writes to me in the sense where I don’t really feel the same as him thinking we’re friends. With Irby, I felt as if she was talking directly to me and with him, I didn’t. David writes about so many relatable things that I surely relate to. But relationship wise I don’t feel as if I have a deep bond.
He made this “relationship” feel as I was in his shoes throughout certain situations. Growing up we see things and are taught things. David Sedaris gave us an inside peek into his childhood. I remember this chapter specifically because I feel like a lot of us have gone through a period where our parents want us to do something they like. This chapter was where his father took him and his sister to a guitar class and wanted them to learn how to play an instrument. They didn’t really say anything to his dad, rather went through the class and found a way to not go back. Regardless of the situation, your parents put you through you wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings especially if it was something that they were once passionate about.
Your family will always be your family and will forever be part of your life. I loved how open he was talking about his father mainly. It’s crazy to think now that people try to control others. In this case, I’m referring to how his father was obsessed with one of his sister’s physical appearances. I relate to this not necessarily having my parents wanting to be a certain way. But I had gone through some health issues due to my weight. It’s not okay to try and force someone to be a certain way because one desires them to. Despite what anyone puts you through you will continue to move forward.
David Sedaris has made the “relationship” slowly into a reality because of all the life lessons he has gone through such as dropping out of school, moving out, financial, and family troubles that I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to all those topics. David’s primary message he shares within this book is to be yourself. He had been very intuitive and precise throughout each essay which allows us the reader to be more intrigued and intent. We find ourselves to be more eager to continue reading this novel. This book is a great representation of not judging a book by its cover.
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Sedaris writes about his profound experiences as a human being, and while his experiences are uniquely his own they are none the less relatable for many of his readers. Perhaps the oldest saying about mistakes and misfortune, “nobody is perfect” is perfectly captured in Sedaris’ writing. He doesn’t act high and mighty as if his readers are beneath him but rather tells his tale to further demonstrate his experience as a human being dealing with problems, doubts and insecurities readers can relate to. Here are some facts about Sedaris. He is caucasian, he is male, he is homosexual and he is short, but these attributes have nothing to do with his appeal to readers because through writing he is able to transcend race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, religion and any other social construct. For an author to accomplished this is no easy feat and yet Sedaris has done this by being honest. For example, Sedaris and myself have little in common besides the fact that we are both caucasian males and yet I fell as if I understand all the problems he has been through in one way or another. The is because his writing speaks of a young person trying to find their way in the world and undeniably no matter who the reader may be this tale has been relevant at one time in their life or another. This is precisely how Sedaris created relationships between himself and every one of his readers.
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Essay Prompt #4 Reaction to David Sedaris’s essays- yes this is indeed two pages long:
David Sedaris and I have a complacent relationship. He’s honest, blunt and likes to talk about his past life experiences. I, on the other hand, would rather just sit and listen to him as I’m a very avid storybook reader. I like hearing people talk about their lives. The relationship we share is nothing special but just a friendship acquaintance type deal. I like how honest Sedaris is, in the Big Boy chapter- all he talks about is poop and poop jokes get me going I can’t lie. Having Sedaris be honest and tell his life as though he is right here next to me is an interesting experience.
David describes his life in full detail, I can tell if he’s an exaggerator with some of his stories but nonetheless they all come across as honest to me. The part when he discusses his experience taking guitar lessons from a midget- couldn’t get more real than that. One quality about Sedaris that strikes me as authentic is the fact that he isn’t afraid to be honest and share even the most shameful experiences. In the essay where he teaches a writing class and adds the influence of being able to smoke within the class was astonishing to me. Usually anyone who influences such a thing would immediately be fired, so I was surprised he didn’t mention that he did get fired. This specific essay I was intrigued as to why he decided to share because personally, I wouldn’t share something like this to the public with no reason. Just a casual “hey I let my students smoke in class and had a superiority complex over them as I don’t like being not in control”. No, I’m not like that but Sedaris’s was and he even admits that in this chapter. Being vulnerable and sharing past experiences where life isn’t as nice helps connect the reader to the author in many ways than one.
An example of the connection David Sedaris has with me, or the audience, is him sharing his speech impediment story in the very first essay. Students with the inability to properly speak and then being tormented for it by others isn’t easy to deal with. By Sedaris presenting his early years of life to the public, perhaps could help alleviate some angst these individuals with speech impediments are also dealing with. I wouldn’t say I have much in common with Sedaris, besides the fact that he is funny, but I would say that he and I aren’t afraid to speak our minds when we want. Also, the fact that Sedaris shares the most random tidbits of info sometimes such as this midget man describing playing his guitar like he’s seducing a woman- very random but in ways, crucial to the story being told.
While Sedaris continues to be open to the audience, this builds a trust among his readers and himself as an individual because he proves that he isn’t afraid to be himself and isn’t afraid to showcase his flaws or his mistakes of his past- and as he continues to write and as I continue to read, Sedaris makes it a point to embrace who you are but not let your past define yourself.
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Personally, I have a weird relationship with Sedaris. The more that I read of his book the more confused I get. Some of his chapters are fairly normal but then other times he’s doing speed with a bunch of friends. I can relate to some like the fact that he’s maybe not his parents favorite or that he’s gay because same here. He’s not perfect by any means but nor does he try to be. He accepts how he is. That’s a mindset I could benefit from because if I’m not perfect at everything then I’m a failure. He’s honest and just shares his experiences. A lot of his book would be relatable to many readers whether that’s trying to live up to their parents’ expectations and all the flaws he has. He manages to connect with people who may not have so much in common with him as well. I personally don’t have too much in common other than what I mentioned but I can feel his struggles and how he feels throughout his book. He’s good at communication.
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Emma Di Coio
21 October 2021
Friendship through Comedy
From the very start of the book, David Sedaris sets up a close relationship with the audience. Through the witty banter, narrating interesting details and the underlying comedy throughout the book, Sedaris is able to reel in the readers and keep them engaged in his anecdotes.
In the very first chapter he shows his clever comedy.“She was probably thinking about the lines of SPEECH THERAPY LAB, though a more appropriate marker would have read FUTURE HOMOSEXUALS OF AMERICA” (pg 10). This joke links his homosexuality and his speech impediment. He humorously insinuates that having this lisp already outs him as gay. Through this type of clever comedy he captures his audience and draws them in. He is also able to connect to his readers with this comedy, by making them laugh or merely amused by his jokes, he creates a closer bond with his readers. All in all, this just serves to keep his readers engaged. “On the off chance that sexual desire was all it took, I steered clear of Lisa’s instrument, fearing I might be labeled a prodigy” (pg 11). Here is another instance of clever comedy. With his sexuality it seems he is especially confident, and this is also something that has only been recently more accepted. By being so open about this key part of himself, he is able to keep the readers engaged, bringing them closer, while maybe setting off some not so accepting people.
Sedaris also creates a foundation for a close relationship with the audience through the niche details of his life and thoughts. “After a few months in my parents’ basement, I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of these things is dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations” (pg 33). Although this may be something that is not as relatable, by being such an exaggeration he is able to keep the audience entertained as well as keep the close relationship he created with the first chapter. In the same vein as his comments about sexuality, by being open about his experience with drugs, Sedaris is able to maintain this close relationship with the audience. “Up close the city constitutes an oppressive series of staircases, but from a distance it inspires fantasies of wealth and power so profound that even our communists are temporarily rendered speechless” (pg 82). Here he is able to be up close and personal with the audience by showing the true side of New York in terms of wealth inequality. Here Sedaris shows that he realizes he only understands a portion of the wealth disparity while trying to live his life in New York. By bringing in he readers to his understanding of such personal topics, Sedaris is sustaining the close friendship he established with his readers. As his anecdotes progress, Sedaris keeps up his clever comedy while bringing in more serious topics such as wealth disparity and drug abuse.
Overall his anecdotes have an underlying comedy to them which help this relationship with his audience. “It is his birthday, and Hugh and I are seated in a New York restaurant, awaiting the arrival of our fifteen-word entrées.”(pg 82), which includes his wittiness as well as the general comedic effect of his stories. Here he brings in a fun joke and continues to keep up the friendliness with the readers. “I’ve never known anyone so willing to withhold judgment and overlook what often strike me as major personality defects. Like all of my friends, she‟s a lousy judge of character.” (pg 85). This quote is another clever joke that is one that helps bring the audience back to the page as it is quite relatable. There are many people who have judgment problems, and by including a quip about his friends, the readers are kept in a friendly relationship.
Throughout the book, Sedaris is able to keep a friendly close relationship with the readers as he brings in personal topics as well as lining each story with some comedic relief.
Professor Mike Madigan
Ordinary Life and the Importance of Learning
My relationship with Sedaris seems to go beyond just the words on the page. The stories he writes about and his anecdotal experiences parallel my own experiences in a sense. Sedaris’ interactions with people, his sense of individuality, and utilizing his observations of other people are all present in this writing. What I found so fascinating was how he not only developed his own individuality with his stories, but everyone else he writes about is also so distinctive and individual in terms of personality. I really liked how he even seemed to appreciate the people in his stories that he didn’t even like. He still made an interaction funny and interesting without mocking the other people in his stories.
I tend to find myself really empathizing with his stories because of how normal they are. Sedaris’ writing highlights even the mundane and everyday interactions, and they can still be compelling without being extraordinary. He never needs to overstate or upscale an experience. Most of his stories are about regular, mundane experiences, and yet all his stories are so compelling and thought-provoking. I never once thought, “That’s kind of boring,” whilst reading the book even though some of his short stories focus on just ordinary life and human experiences with nothing tension-inducing going on.
I was most intrigued by his relationship and interactions with his family members. He writes about his jealousy for his sister’s artistic talent, his father constantly trying to get him and his siblings to enjoy the same interests as him, and how his younger brother was raised completely differently than he was. His family clearly had a big influence on his personality and behavior, the same way my family was the most influential part of the way I behave and my personality. Sedaris never shied away from talking about the sensitive topics, even if they included his family members, but it never rubbed me as a negative things. Rather than being exploitive of his and his family member’s private lives, it seemed more like he was sharing these moments with us. These are his experiences, his real thoughts, and I liked the fact that he shared them with me and his other readers. What I found the most comforting when reading this book, or books like this one, is that I can see other people going through the same or similar experiences that I have gone through. Even if it’s something really obscure that I previously thought I was truly alone in dealing with, this book showed me that we all experience life’s difficulties together as people. No one is ever truly alone, even when we think we are.
When he moved to Paris and learned French, that was the most engaging part of the book to me. Learning is so important, no matter how embarrassing or tedious the process might be. I was so fascinated by Sedaris moving to a new country and learning a new language because I’m planning on moving to a new country too. He doesn’t sugarcoat the process of learning a new language in a completely new environment, and that made the story much more enjoyable. We got to see him struggle, and complain even, but he didn’t just give up. Eventually, we get to a point were it all just seems kind of worth it. Sedaris talks about how the rewards of learning something new is “intoxicating”. Life is about learning, and pushing through all the obstacles, and the reward is so much better than we could’ve even imagined.
Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day. New York: Little, Brown, 2000. Print
My Relationship to Sedaris, as a Reader
I feel like I have been invited to listen to an old friend tell me their life story. Thankfully there’s quite a bit of humor that helps get through some of the less interesting parts. I enjoyed the beginning of this book very much and found that I like David Sedaris. His stories from when he was a boy were my favorite and helped me get to know him. I found that he had an enormous amount of character and rarely hesitated to admit when he was wrong. This I found to be the case in stories that were centered around certain people. At first when he gives the audience his view of another person’s character it’s filled with his judgement or dislike for the individual he describes. Most notably his speech teacher and music teacher. He first sees these people as one dimensional and has seemed to have made up his mind about them. As the stories progress David starts to see them as people, not unlike himself, who have similar struggles and deserve empathy and kindness. As a reader I realize that he is teaching a lesson here. That people aren’t always what they seem. We have so many different parts to our character and just because we don’t show them all doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Who we are at work, is not who we are at home. Who we are at school isn’t how we are around a group of close friends. It’s all about perception and we all have different ways of seeing things. What I enjoy about the way David narrates his stories is his ability to give the reader more than one way to look at things.
Just when I think I have Sedaris figured out he offers up his story about his many years of using Crystal Meth. That was a bit surprising to me because I really believed that he was going to go on to make great decisions in life and become the successful comedian and author he is today without any setbacks. But as it is in life many of us stumble, fall, get back up, learn, and grow from it. Although his tale of his using meth was absolutely hilarious, partly because it was so accurately portrayed in the details he offered, it was still sad at the same time. Addiction is not at all funny but I enjoyed the author’s honesty and openness. Because he has been down that path it adds another layer to his character. His first use of the drug left him feeling like he could do anything, like he was invincible. And like the majority of all addicts the last time he used he was laying on the floor begging for a way out. I appreciate his candor about such a serious issue and his willingness to share it with his audience. Many addicts live with shame and guilt that prevents them from opening up. I was grateful to get a glimpse inside his personal struggles and get to know him on another level.
Throughout his book Sedaris is giving us a glimpse of the world through his eyes. I found most of his viewpoints agreeable. He pokes fun of himself every chance he gets with his self deprecating humor which makes his stories easier to read. I really like how he doesn’t put other people down but instead attempts to understand them in his own way and offers an explanation to the audience as to why people might behave the way they do. Growing up with a father like his who was the complete opposite could have given Sedaris the desire to aspire to never being so rigid in his belief systems. His father wasn’t concerned about what any of his 6 children wanted, but instead focused on what he wanted and needed from them. David’s mother was loving but also passive and didn’t seem to come to the defense of her children when it came to their fathers demands of them. After everything that his father had done to him, Sedaris does not present him to the audience as a horrible parent. He instead gives us the opportunity to come to our own conclusions about him through his storytelling. This seems to be the theme throughout the book, which may or may not be the intention of the author.
The author made his stories come alive and provided me, as a reader, the use of my imagination as I read. I felt like I was there watching every story in real time. I see Sedaris as a sensitive and conscious human. He takes in the world around him in such a unique way. There isn’t a time when I feel like Sedaris is not paying attention in his life. He is keenly aware of his surroundings and the people that he meets. Bringing them to life in his readings that help the reader understand the why behind the who, and reminding us to dig a little deeper before arriving at our conclusions about others.
26 October 2021
“Me Talk Pretty One Day” Reaction
I believe that David Sedaris’s relationship with the reader is one based on trust, honesty, and open communication. Much like Samantha Irby’s, Sedaris’s writing style is very raw and confessional. However, his tone is a bit let personal than Irby’s; he does not seem to ever speak directly to or give advice to the reader, simply retells his life events as they relate to him personally. It is more one-sided and less conversational than Irby’s writing. However, just like Irby, Sedaris is willing to reveal his flaws and shortcoming to the reader in a joking manner, making the reader feel at ease. He jokes about his speech impediment, sexuality, lack of artistic talent, poor French skills, and past drug habits all in a teasing and non-serious manner. While Sedaris has accomplished many things and is evidently very intelligent, his use of self-deprecation makes him more relatable to his readers. He never takes himself or his actions too seriously and recognizes that describing his perceived flaws or “bad” experiences are very valuable to accurately portraying his story to his readers.
One thing I particularly enjoyed about Sedaris’s storytelling is how well he characterized the other people in his stories. In “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life”, Irby’s stories were all completely centered around herself, her own actions, emotions, and experiences. Just like if he were really your close friend, Sedaris wants you to know everything he can possibly tell you about his friends and family. His extensive characterizations of his partner Hugh, his mother and father, and his siblings Amy, Gretchen, and Paul “The Rooster”, all tell the reader exactly who these people are and how their personalities and company have influenced David into who he is today. The Sedaris family’s dynamic is very strange and it is enjoyable as a reader to explore the different ways in which the family interacts with each other. David does an exceptionally great job at coaxing the reader into understanding just how eccentric, controlling, and strange his father was.
Even the more minor characters like Sedaris’s childhood music teacher Mister Mancini and speech teacher Miss Samson, and even a random stranger called Martin on a train in France are brought to life with humorous and detailed descriptions. I really enjoyed how Sedaris even dedicated entire chapters of his personal story to other people’s experiences, like his sister Amy’s pranks in “A Shiner Like a Diamond” or his boyfriend Hugh’s childhood in “Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa”. These dedicative chapters prove just how much of Sedaris’s life and personality is influenced by the people close to him. He knows that developing the other characters in his autobiographical stories will make the stories more compelling and impactful to his readers.
Sedaris’s humorous and creative method leads to some of his most ordinary and everyday experiences becoming hilarious. While his tone is snarky and sarcastic, he is not overly sardonic to the point that the reader sees him as pretentious. He is quick to point out the flaws and funny characteristics of others, but he is just as quick to do it to himself. I believe David inherited some of his sister Amy’s theatrical and eccentric qualities from the way he sometimes acts like someone other than himself, like in the stories “Pick Pocketoni” and “The Late Show”. He has a view of humanity and a way of perceiving others that is very unique and intuitive; this is why he finds it so easy to explore the minds of others. This could also be why readers find Serdaris’s writing so personal and poignant. He knows how to make jokes at the expense of himself and others in exactly the right way where readers find it charming and hilarious.
26 October 2021
Sedaris uses comedy and making fun of himself to make a closer connection to me as the reader. When he uses these methods in his writing I feel a more personal connection to him, this is due to the fact that not many people can just openly make fun of themselves openly. Being able to publicly and openly joke about yourself it takes confidence. Also, it makes me feel like I have a deeper connection to Sedaris because reading his book and seeing how he jokes about himself makes me feel like we have been friends for a while. Having the feeling of being long time friends helps develop a strong relationship. While having this feeling of knowing Sedaris for a long time, reading each chapter feels like a new adventure and something else to learn and explore.
The relationship is kind of like a roller-coaster, sometimes I understand what he is trying to get at and other times I do not understand what he is writing about. Having these different interactions with Sedaris and his writing is nice because if it was just one constant understanding or feeling the reading would become boring and repetitive. Being able to feel and react in a various different ways makes the relationship between Sedaris and I stronger. This is because having one reaction and feeling throughout all of the reading becomes annoying and you end up not liking that particular author. On the other hand having an author who can make you feel and react in different ways, at one time, creates an inviting feeling to keep reading.
This relationship, created by Sedaris, begins to develop when he talks about how he feels about his speech therapy. This is when I first started to relate to him. From what I was able to gather he felt ashamed of his speech therapy and when it was brought up publicly it seemed as if he just wanted to fade away. I went through a similar phase when I was in middle school, being able to understand these feelings right off the bat made it more compelling to keep reading and develop a better understanding of Sedaris and his writing. Along the way, I noticed that I was not only able to relate to Sedaris, but also to the other people he wrote about. Having this connection to Sedaris himself and the other characters made the relationship stronger because I did not just feel like all eyes were on him.
Sedaris connects with his readers in many different ways through honesty, truth, humor, and more. Through his book, many of his readers have created a relationship with him. I have related to most of his moments, but I don’t think I have built a deep relationship with him. He is honest and funny, much like Irby. But his style of writing didn’t connect to me as much. Though he is an amazing writer, I did not feel much of a connection or forming of a relationship while reading his book.
His book is calm, easy to read, and simple, but Irby’s book was energetic, fun, and different. Reading Irby’s book first might have affected my views on this book. Although this book is good and not very different from Irby’s book, it didn’t give me the feel and interest Irby’s book gave me. I feel because of my absence of interest, it created a relationship that is only an author and a reader.
If not me, Sedaris connected with many other readers. With his book, he created many strong relationships with other readers. His relatable story, moments, and his style of writing captured the eyes and minds of the audience. With that, the audience started relating to Sedaris and connecting with him, like I started connecting to Samantha Irby. We all have different views and opinions on many things, this isn’t a very big one, but I think we can all agree that this book was a good read.
27 October 2021
At first glance I do not have that much in common with David Sedaris. We grew up during different eras and lived in quite contradictory environments. Though the two of us would probably get along quite well, his unconventional sense of humor and sarcastic tone make him a joy to be around. Sedaris has served as a mentor for me, his work has conveyed the important messages that people take themselves far too seriously, to not overly stress over being perfect and to not have any fear of enjoying life.
Throughout his essays, Sedaris tells multiple stories of people taking their lives far too seriously. A classic example is his father, a man who is hellbent on the belief that the world is going to end and he must have an absurd amount of food in order to survive. The irony of this situation is that the stale crackers and expired peaches will probably end up killing him before a doomsday event occurs. Sedaris makes fun of his father for the simple fact he treats every decision like it is life or death, he does a fantastic job of showing that the stress his father exerts in efforts of self preservation ruins his chances at actually enjoying life.
Another man who believes the world is a dramatic action movie was the man on the train who believed Sedaris was a pickpocket. The man wanted to act the part of hero, so he regularly warned his wife of the evil thief that Sedaris was. In this situation he felt like the clever hero that protects the female lead from danger. Ironically the two were too foolish to realize Sedaris could understand every word they spoke and had decided to play a harmless prank. Both of these stories made me reflect and ask, are there times when I also take my life too seriously? The answer was yes, Sedaris made me realize I tend to stress far too much over things that do not matter.
Throughout my life, I have always set high goals and done everything in my power to achieve them. While doing this is great to an extent, it can always be taken too far. Sedaris made me realize that I tend to overly stress about anything that tests my performance and that the dreadful anxiety I have before any big event is never worth the reward. Hearing about how his father attempted to raise him and his siblings allowed me to come to this realization. He was so concerned with trying to have his idea of perfect children, avid jazz musicians with perfect grade point averages, that he forced his kids into a way of life they despised. This story made me realize I tend to do the same, I regularly force myself to spend hours stressing and working in pursuit of perfection just so other people will speak highly of me. While trying to go the extra mile is great, it is necessary to allow time to have fun and enjoy life. Sedaris showed me that trying to be perfect at everything I do is not worth the stress, I should only put forth my best effort and not be too concerned with the outcome.
Sedaris clearly has an unconventional sense of humor, he isn’t afraid to make peculiar jokes because they tend to always come with a laugh. His unwillingness to conform to societal norms and ability to try things his own way is what makes him such an enjoyable person to interact with. It is well known that he will try to do something special for each person he meets, which often involves a slightly offensive yet hilarious joke. Learning this showed me the importance of owning my own unconventional personality traits. We are all different and should be proud of our distinct characteristics, just as Sedaris does.
Through his self essays, Sedaris did an amazing job of mentoring me through multiple comedic stories. He became a mentor because he forced me to reflect on my own life and question how to make it a happier one. His lessons of not taking myself too seriously, not overly stressing about perfection and having fun will certainly lead to a much more enjoyable life.
27 October 2021
Diving into David Sedaris book felt like taking a dive into the shallow end head first. It seems like a great idea in the first chapter, but you shortly regret it after that. I’m the type of gal that can spend the majority of my days with The Real Housewives franchise on repeat. I spend time listening to podcasts that analyze, judge, and label each wife with humor and sarcasm. Don’t even get me started on the god that is Andy Cohen who is the brilliant mastermind behind all of it. Bravo will forever be the network I go to, I’m actually surprised that the Bravo emblem isn’t permanently imprinted in the corner of my television. David Sedaris’ book reminded me of The Real Housewives franchise that just quite didn’t make it… Miami for example. His humor, wittiness, and ranting falls short. I found it pretty challenging to relate to the dude. He has a weird dysfunctional family, I definitely have one of those. The vast majority of the world does. He has childhood trauma from a lisp connected to speech therapy. Childhood trauma is pretty common. I found myself feeling more sorry for him than entertained.
As a reader, I often questioned his truth since he over exaggerates his entire life. Who would want to immerse themselves in a book where the writer’s view of art is complete garbage? Example, page 44: “True art is based upon despair, and the important thing was to make yourself and those around you as miserable as possible.” That quote rang in my head throughout the rest of the publication. Is this guy trying to make me miserable, is he dragging and ranting purposefully? We all have that one friend that is the definition of “doom and gloom,” the person where you feel drained after spending a couple of hours with them. When you think to yourself during the hangout, does this individual have one positive thing to say?” It’s the woe is me mentality. David Sedaris has that nailed down perfectly, with a huge side of arrogance. Am I somewhat bashing the book? yes, unfortunately I am. Even his own lover could only come up with this as the list of accomplishments “Hugh consoled me, saying, “Don’t let it get to you. There are plenty of things you’re good at.”
When asked for some examples, he listed vacuuming and naming stuffed animals. He says he can probably come up with a few more, but he’ll need some time to think.” That’s his man! His own lover has difficulty.
Let’s plunge into his crystal meth usage. I completely understand talking about one’s life with seriousness as an addict, but I found his perspective mind boggling. I’ve read many autobiographies that contain addiction. I’ve experienced addiction within my own family. I understand that taking a humorous point of view can help with avoidance, but at least be somewhat educational. It came off as an attempt to grab the reader, which it did, but I didn’t feel fully genuine. I apologize for not having very much positive to say about this book. I had a few chuckles, but in the end I’ll stick to my trash tv/reality shows elsewhere.
Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day. New York: Little, Brown, 2000. Print
Professor Mike Madigan
28, October 2021
My Initial Relationship with David Sedaris
Samantha Irby had me thinking about all the little things so detailed about her life, and with Sedaris there are moments in his writing where it reminds me of Ibry’s writing, and yes, we are reading two essay based memoirs and the two authors are not the same, but I think my relationship with Irby was almost personal in the different type of way that Sedaris’ had me thinking. Irby writes so openly and tends to tell stories that most people wouldn’t even dare to tell their close friends. On the other hand the relationship I’ve created with David Sedaris is more relatable on a personal experience type level where he kind of makes everything seem so real.
I’m not saying I never related to Irby because we’re all humans and understand the things she’s talking about even if we’ve never experienced that, but with Sedaris every chapter makes me go deep into my thoughts and really try to picture what he’s detailing and personally relate it to things that’ve happened in my life. I was just shocked when reading the first few chapter essay’s of the book like in Go Carolina, literally the first chapter of the book and he’s talking about his speech impediment detailing how scary the room is and the teacher being evil, and I’m reading this like: this guy went through the same damn thing I went through in the third grade. I then flip the page to Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities, and the chapter starts off with a big “My Father Loves Jazz.” Well David, my father does too! And he also wanted me to pick up guitar which I never got into, then put me into Piano lessons… I was mind boggled, I was thinking this couldn’t be made up.
I was using Irby as someone to compare because with her I think that relationship was something that couldn’t be fathomed; meanwhile, the relationship I was creating with Sedaris somehow makes it so that I’m in the same situation he was, I’m the one absolutely addicted to speed, and yes I could see lots of exaggeration and moments in his essays where I was just doubting that he could re-tell these types of stories and for example ( p. 54) His father making exclaims to him as he’s performing, and I just thought “yeah it’s funny and all but would Lou really do something that obnoxious to his own son during a performance I don’t know.” I get if he were to make jokes and stuff like that after the performance but to disrupt… meh I think he’s trying to entertain and over exaggerate a little too much and this can be seen in many many occasions throughout different essays.
It’s hard to say what really had Sedaris’ writing so realistically relatable to me personally, and maybe it is the over exaggeration in the events of his past to hook me in and make me think oh yeah, I really was that stupid little kid who over thought everything, or make me think his life experiences go hand in hand to mine, or the fact that his sense of humor is subtle and almost degrading toward himself; I’m not sure, but I definitely had some high expectations coming into reading Sedaris. I had heard of him because he’s my mom’s favorite author. My girlfriend and her mom also said they absolutely love his writing style, and his sense of humor is so absolutely hilarious. I was eager to get into reading the essay’s and my expectation was different from what I initially thought which would be obvious jokes and stereotypical puns, and I found myself having that woah, I’m hooked because of the way he tells his stories and they have me always relating things to my own life not omg I’m laughing so hard. I think the only essay I found stereotypically funny was Big Boy, just because I’m 18 years old and somehow still think massive shits and poop related jokes are funny. This Prompt was posted prior to me finishing and had me think differently for the last few chapters rather coming after I concluded the book.
20, October, 2021
Observations From an Artist’s Mind
My relationship with Sedaris would be summarized as observational. I’ve noticed throughout the book that Sedaris is very exaggerated in how he views the world. The way in which he describes his relationships with people and his family is one that I can most definitely relate to. I feel like all artists are somewhat this way in how they see the world differently. When reading, it feels like I can just let him do the reading for me. He does such an amazing job with immersing you into the story and allowing you to comfortably watch. And from this, I can truly appreciate the way he writes the stories. A lot of his stories also have a hint of comedy hidden beneath them that it seems only a few actually notice. It feels like most of this comes from how he’s so observant and it’s almost like he is judging the people around him and cracking jokes in his own head about them. One chapter that really stuck with me was “Giant dreams, Midget Abilities”. This chapter I could really relate to because he talks about how just because his father had a passion for music, it didn’t mean that he did as well. Parents often try to push their children to either do something that they themselves like, or be like them. When in reality that couldn’t be farther from the truth and parents seem to sometimes really struggle with that concept, just like Sedaris’ father did.
Throughout the book Sedaris is writing as if we (the reader) are there watching the scene unfold. The storytelling is very narrative style in which he doesn’t include much of what he says, but rather tells us more about what he is thinking. I think this is really what brought me to connect to him a lot more. Especially his sense of humor and how he treats the people he meets. He is able to make fun of himself which I think makes the book easier to read. In a way, when making fun of the people around him, he doesn’t seem to really talk down on them, but rather explain why people are the way that they are. He never presents the new characters as bad, but rather studies them and he resources all possible angles of a relationship. While doing so, he expresses how he feels about the situation to the audience and explains them very well. This way, the audience can easily connect to how he writes and how he is as a person. From this, I was definitely able to connect to how he views his surroundings. While also helping to establish a stronger understanding of who he is, and the people he meets.
His drug experience is also one that’s extremely apparent throughout the book and one that he somehow always find a way back to. While also taking a humorous approach to it, the overall message he applies to it is really attention grabbing. I think that this book is one that, for the first time in awhile, I actually really enjoy due to the true connection Sedaris is able to create with his writing. I’m really excited to find out how he finishes the book.
The relationship I have as a reader with Sedaris is an ambiguous one. He can bore me or excite me; he can tell me stories that I like or ones I dislike. On top of all of that, then, Sedaris is definitely an inspiration in the way he is able to convey his stories. The way he leads into his stories and the timing of them are good. Because I learn from him in some ways and am bored by him in some way, my relationship with Sedaris can be described as a teacher-student relationship. Then again, he also has that funny, wise perspective that I sometimes ignore, making our relationship to me like an uncle.
Sometimes Sedaris is like my teacher. The relationship reminds me of a teacher-student relationship because I learn from him. The way he teaches is different as he teaches through his writing which has its positives and negatives. For instance, there are times where his writing can be learned from and sometimes his writing holds back the less being learned. He also teaches through the stories he tells which is based on the writing and what essay is being told. He also teaches through his humor and being self deprecating. For example in the essay “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities” I learn about Sedaris’s family relationships and in turn learn about family relationships other than mine. I also learned in “See you Again Yesterday” how it is not knowing the language of the country you’re in and having to try to speak a language you don’t know. I have been to Mexico, but I usually just speak English there. I also learned from Sedaris that he is very open and honest when telling his stories and doesn’t shy away from his mistakes like his addiction to meth.
Another relationship that I can compare to Sedaris is a funny uncle. Sedaris tells funny stories like the one essay where he talks about working with a rich lady named Valencia. He becomes her personal assistant and talks about how hard it is to deal with her. Sedaris’s telling of this story is quite funny. Sedaris also tells a funny story about how he sees an American couple during his time in France. The American couple mistakes Sedaris for a French pickpocket which is humorous because he is neither French nor a pickpocket. Sedaris also tells a story where his father eats a piece of his hat which is also pretty amusing. This type of storytelling reminds me of an uncle who likes to tell stories and entertain the family when he visits.
In conclusion, Sedaris reminds me of the type of relationship between me and a teacher and me and a funny uncle. Like a teacher, Sedaris tells stories to impart wisdom, and he’s open and honest with sharing the lessons he’s learned in life. Sometimes, Sedaris’s stories are just meant to be funny and entertaining, and in that way I feel like our relationship is one of uncle and nephew. Sedaris visits, tells me something from his life that makes me laugh, and then moves on. Overall, the relationship with Sedaris is a good one because I like to learn and laugh, and Sedaris is a skilled teacher, an entertaining storyteller, and he seems authentic and honest, which I appreciate.
Professor Mike Madigan
27 October 2021
My relationship with Sedaris feels like the relationship between new friends getting to know each other. Everytime I start a new story it feels like I am sitting around a campfire with a small group of friends sharing stories from our past. I get to hear little snapshots of various points of his life in a laid back, humorous way. Sedaris’ writing style makes me feel as though he is reliving the moments as he tells the reader but is able to shine a humorous light on his past. He is comfortable telling these stories which makes it feel like it is just friends talking.
The order of the stories told play a part in why I feel this is my relationship with Sedaris. His first story really sets the tone for the rest of the book and who Sedaris is. This story could have been told in a serious, “poor me” style but instead Sedaris is able to look back and find humor in this hard time. Which shows me how mature Sedaris is and how comfortable he is in himself. He could have used this book to bash the teacher and air out grievances but instead he was able to joke about it with us. It isn’t easy to relive moments of embarrassment so Sedaris shows a form of trust and comfort with the reader, like a friend would. As the book progresses and more stories are told I am brought back to the same feeling I have had with my friends. The feeling of a no judgment zone where you can just speak your truth and laugh at your past. There is a level of trust between everyone that allows people to tell their truth and present their authentic selves.
The relationship I have with Sedaris feels like it is stronger than just any new friendship. You can be friends with someone you don’t relate to. But I relate with Sedaris so much that it feels like the beginning of a deeper friendship. Sedaris and I both grew as the shy kid who felt like they didn’t quite fit in. Listening to Sedaris talk about his sexuality reminded me of my journey with sexuality. Specifically with what it is like growing up in a herteronormative society. It is confusing especially when you don’t have the words to describe why you find the things people say unrelatable. I can really relate to Sedaris talking about twisting the truth into what people want to hear. If Sedaris and I were actually face-to-face, sitting around a fireplace talking, I feel like we would really be able to create a strong bond and mutual respect because we both went against the grain even though people judged us for it. Even though Sedaris experienced this in a much less accepting time, I still feel we would be able to acknowledge and bond over our experiences because not everyone has had to go through something like that.
By the end of the book I feel like it is my turn to tell my story. Sedaris created such a safe and comfortable energy that I want to tell him stories from my life. I want to laugh about my past experiences with him like we were able to laugh about him.
28 October 2021
David is a very interesting and odd human with a crazy life story that needs to be told and heard. David’s interaction with the reader is very good and he is very engaging. He is a very good storyteller and knows how to describe a scene in real life well onto a page. He has a factor in his writing that makes his words come to life. The reader feels as they are in the presence of the scene in the book. He guides the reader to see what his life experience was like and how it would’ve been if we were there. David lived a very unordinary life and a very unique childhood.
David has connected with me a lot during this book. We both have experiences where we both met and can relate to. David had an odd part of his childhood where he was forced to play an instrument by his father who loved music. This is similar to something that occurred in my childhood as well. My dad really wanted me to play baseball. He would take me to practices and even try to train me on his own. I gave it a try but quickly noticed that it wasn’t my sport or of my interest. I too just like David hated going and felt like Minster Mancini was my dad at one point. I soon found a love for the game of soccer which my dad didn’t like so much at the time. As time went on, he began to enjoy it more and more. Now both my little brother and I have played soccer and made him a bigger fan of it. David didn’t find a love for music but instead, he saw the love he had for artwork. David and I share this experience with both of our dads who wanted us to be just like them, can’t blame them for that.
David is extremely gifted in the bring the author into the story and scenery. He is very selective with his word choice and how he describes situations. I feel like it is so easy to imagine what is happening when he is explaining a certain sicario in the book. When talking about his family at the beach, I pictured it perfectly and could see his father drawing this super long equation in the sand. Along with all the fishermen who were also interested in what David’s dad was doing. The way David writes about his dad makes me think about unappreciative he was of him and his knowledge. Another scene where he is presenting his art at the museum performance. He writes about the room and how everyone is staring at him. Of course, because he is on stage and the performer you could say. David mentions how his father, who was in attendance, was making funny comments during this performance that had the crowd laughing and “enjoying themselves”. The scene is very well written and I feel as if I am in the crowd watching him nervously on stage while his father, who is just behind me in the crowd, rips him apart.
I feel very bad for David and Alisha. Bonnie is the most annoying girl I know and I don’t even know this girl. I don’t even know if she is real or not. Just reading this chapter makes me think why Alisha didn’t just clock her in the head. I felt second-hand embarrassment and annoyance for Alisha and David. David talks about how he can visually see that Alisha is having a headache having Bonnie around, the annoying girl. I too would be having a headache with Bonnie not wanting to shut her mouth. Just imaging going on a trip and bringing someone along with Bonnie made me think I will never invite someone I don’t really know on a trip with me, ever. I put myself in David’s shoes and I thought about what I would do if I was him. I didn’t think of anything that would work because she already knows where they are staying so if they ditch her, she will most likely just show up again. Also, she will probably be very mad and who knows what this Bonnie girl would try to do. David makes me feel like a character in the story who is also suffering through this experience along with him.
Overall, David is a very engaging author who invites his reader to experience the story right along with him. His storytelling is second to none in getting the reader to feel as if he or she is in the storyline too. David’s essay allows me to visualize the story incredibly easy unlike any other author book’s I have read. David’s readers get to experience his crazy and unordinary life by his side as he tells us everything about his life.
Professor Mikey Madigan
27 October 2021
My Relationship with David Sedaris
My first impressions of Sedaris were far different from what I as a reader now believe. When I read that first essay written by David Sedaris I immediately related his work to that of Samantha Irby. Both him and her are both quick witted comedic geniuses who turn their life stories into relatable literature that appeals to all. He depicts real raw life content just as Irby did. I do feel that his writing does differ in the aspect that I have not formed that personal connection nor relatability to what he writes about.
As for my personal relationship with Sedaris, as a reader I find his content somewhat disengaging. I compare how I felt when reading “we are never meeting in real life” and damn it is just so different. I craved reading page after page of Irby’s assortment of essays whilst with Sedaris I feel bored and unclear of what he means some of the time. I feel the reason for me feeling this way is simply because I have not gone through the same experiences Sedaris has. Sedaris highlights his struggle with addiction, having a broken family, etc. and those are topics that simply do not resonate with me. As a reader I feel empathy and sympathize with Sedaris as the challenges he has faced are traumatic, yet I can never feel 100% of the connection I felt with Irby. As a minority feminist woman myself it was easier to form that relationship with Irby. As for something that does intrigue me about Sedaris’ unique writing style…I admire how vulnerable he is with what he shares. He turns anything extremely morbid into mere comedy. He shares ideas that most think but would never dare say. He is passionate in what he writes about and shares any and everything he can in order to help others feel comfortable in their own skin. I believe this is the motivation that keeps me reading Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day”.
Sedaris has made this relationship into a reality as his vulnerability is what keeps me motivated to continue reading his literature. The way he creates such vivid imagery and adds such concise detail into his work allows me as a reader to be immersed in his world. Although I may not relate nor feel engaged by the content he presents in his stories, I continue reading in hopes of forming that connection that I once had with authors such as Irby.
Professor Mike Madigan
The Art of Here and Now
As many people in the creative and performance field will tell you, being funny is the hardest form of entertainment. One must be first of all clever enough to come up with the jokes than have the actual talent and charisma to pull them off. As quiet and unassuming Sedaris is on the outside it is easy to see the tremendous social awareness which he possesses and in turn, uses to make jokes that are actually entertaining. The perfect storm for a wonderful performer.
Reality is our greatest source of reference for anything in life. We compare our own lives to those of family, strangers, or even the forces of nature itself to get a better understanding of who we are and how to act in society. Those in the creative fields such as art, music, and dance take in the universe and use it as a catalyst to fuel the never-ending cycle of content creation but a style of performance that has grown more publicly accessible has been the power of the spoken word. We see it every day with news anchors, promotional ads, and even in a live conversation between friends. It would be a stupid mistake to underestimate the power of a good story and David Sedaris is clearly a special example of what a skilled writer is. Not only is he witty and exceedingly clever, but he has also been able to narrow down his own personal life into short and entertaining essays that both share continuity with each other while still remaining unique. The quotes like, “The art world was our conceptual oyster, and we ate it raw.” (Sedaris, pg 47), is so beautifully human you often forget that the story opened with Sedaris stating how he began his interpretive and avant-garde performance career off his eyeballs on speed. Even to strengthen the point of Sedaris being more on the level of an artist/artistic entertainer, he spent many years in the scene trying to pick up some exposure while attending an art school. While it’s never good to advocate for drug usage, he made it sound like the slightest amount of fun.
It is easy to find oneself relating to Sedaris in the words and passages, once again never having actually gone through his personal experiences they all still feel familiar and real. What is interesting about him however is that he is a quiet man but still holds power and versatility through his words. He is a five-foot-five balding man who wears sweaters and light suit jackets while being fully capable of firing off wonderful strings of insults and observations of this absurd reality we call life. He understands that though he is “different” but he doesn’t make it the forefront of his writing, instead of dragging in attention to his sexuality in a grandiose manner he just simply lets it flow naturally into his writing to the point where you don’t even question it. Much like with his humor, none of it is forced. Nothing is hamfisted into the narrative for the sake of comedy or just getting attention. He is just a naturally funny guy and this is his thought process. It is impossible to not notice the way the writing flows, leading the reader down a path of life lessons, personal hardships, and the human experience. One of my favorite quotes from the entire book is “This is a new and brighter world, in which I am free to hurry along, celebrating my remarkable ability to walk, to run.” (Sedaris, pg 59). David Sedaris is right, even with all the bills, familial issues, and shortcomings in life it is still our own. We are in control of the way we interpret this world and it is our duty to go around and explore it, to be informed, and to experience true beauty in our existence because it does exist. While there is beauty there is sadness, there is rage, there is loss. Everything we hold dear could be gone in an instant but it would be a disservice to ourselves to let these emotions overtake us. With all the odds stacked against me, I would only hope to view the world in which Sedaris does. Then I would be truly lucky. Optimism is not a fabricated excuse, more a promise for a better tomorrow.
Is it Weird or Relatable
Whenever I sit down to read some David Sedaris I brace myself for the weird relatability he tosses into his writing. Our lifestyles are very different from each other, but he depicts these extremely relatable, at least for me, scenarios or emotions that come from the chaos of some of the chapters.
My best example of being in a strangely relatable scenario comes from the “Big Boy” chapter. David gets himself into an awful social situation. Someone before him in the bathroom leaves a massive stool, but having announced his going to the bathroom he knew that others would think that he did this. Put into extreme stress and social pressures he decides to act upon these ‘motivators’ and disposes of the large stool. Maybe the situation itself isn’t so relatable, but what is relatable is the emotions that come from what transpires in the chapter. I can’t find the words to properly describe what I’m trying to get at, but hopefully this is coming across well.
To further elaborate, in the first chapter “Go Carolina” David goes to speech therapy regularly and despises it because it is announced to the entire class when he goes. Not every kid goes to speech therapy, but I went to something similar as a kid, but it was actually for my spanish speaking skills. The thing about my ability to speak Spanish is that I am hindered by my inability to be able to roll my r’s, as one should be able to. I have always found it embarrassing and I have not been able to get that out from myself. I think it has grown into an insecurity because I am starting to avoid words that need the r’s to be rolled like perro because, without being able to roll my r’s, it sounds like pedo which means fart. Unlike David, I did not remove these words from my vocabulary just because I wanted out of my speech therapy, but I wanted to withhold the embarrassment from myself cause I do consider it a defect of mine since I was raised on the spanish language rather than english. On the brighter side of things I tend to understand most things that people say to me through conversations, but I just can’t properly speak the language and it has haunted me to this day.
David Sedaris and I have our own ways to tread through life, but there are a couple of common social situations that have become an obstacle at some point in our respective lives. David tells these strange memories of his that have these themes and emotions that people can relate to. He makes these sometimes outlandish stories the most relatable because of how human the core of the stories are, and it could be telling a struggle, interaction, or a success. Whatever it may be, David Sedaris has the talent to make weirdness relatable.
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This is great, thanks!!
28 October 2021
My relationship with David Sedaris
As I keep reading the book I am getting more of a sense of how Sedaris is. I have now seen that he is nothing compared to Samantha Irby from the other book. My relationship with Sedaris is a love and hate relationship. I definitely do not feel like I have the strongest bond with him. There have been times where he actually makes me laugh and at other times I just feel bad for the guy. Sedaris does not say things in a way to make me feel like I am reading a diary like I did with the other book. With this book, I just feel like any other reader reading what the author is going through. He is a very open person which helps the reader know him in a sense a little better.
Every chapter tends to start with something new. It’s not like he is telling a story but more of different times/ parts of his life. At times, I would get lost but then I would get engaged back again. He goes through many downs in his life like his addiction that got bad. This is the part where I felt bad for him because he felt like he couldn’t go on with his day without it. He even begged his dealer to stay. Unlike Irby who would mostly talk about herself, David talks a lot about his family like his dad and sisters.
Sedaris spent most of the time talking about his sister’s successes and things they went through as well as how his father was as a person and the things he liked. Even if they had some negative things about them he never really showed hatred towards them. I really got a sense of how each person was from the way he would describe them and felt as if I had known them in real life. Even though I didn’t relate a lot to Sedaris I did imagine how his sisters felt at times. For example, I found it kind of upsetting how his father was obsessed with having his daughters look fit or in shape and how he would make rude comments about it even if he felt like he was just trying to help. My parents never forced me to do exercise or have made me feel bad about my weight but I do know of other people’s parents being like this. It is a terrible thing to comment on a girl’s weight since it can impact them. I feel like every girl goes through a phase where they are subconscious or insecure about something and for Sedaris’ sister Amy it was her appearance.
I can tell that Sedaris knows he’s not perfect and thinks he’s not as talented as his sisters and I honestly have felt this at times too. Trying to live up to your parents expectations is hard especially when you’re the oldest and are getting compared to your siblings. Even though Sedaris was not the oldest sibling he did get compared with his sisters quite a bit. He shows us and talks about his failure in things which made me like how honest he was about it. He also had some great comedy throughout the book that helped me stay a little more engaged.
Sedaris makes an open relationship with the reader letting us know the good and bad parts of his life experiences. He shows that even when you might think you’re at your lowest point in life there is always a way to get back up.
Right away you can notice the huge difference between what we just read, We are never meeting in real life and with David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day. One has an outgoing tone, with confidence and is fearless. The other a quiet self conscious tone, not sure of himself trying to figure everything out. Samantha Ibry uses a plethora of humor while David Sederis is much more reserved and almost formal.
I started off this book the same way I started every book I have read, confused. I have come to acceptance that I will be lost for at least a chapter minimum. However, when I started to grasp the reading a bit more I really liked what David Sedaris was saying. He was talking about his lisp. He was making a deeper connection with why some kids had a lisp. He noticed none of the popular kids had his lazy tongue, neither did the kids who cared about state v.s carolina. Maybe his lisp came from lack of self confidence from always lying about what he really likes. For example, acting like he cares about the state football team because he was a boy, so he was supposed to care. In the end, Samson really only made it worse by attacking their “lazy tongues” instead of helping at the root of the problem, now only making them quieter and more self conscious.
The underlying message that I took from this book was individuality and authenticity. During his essays Sedaris fully captured and developed not only his individuality but also his family members. He starts with the very first chapter, telling us how he sticks out, how he is an outsider. He stands alone being different and unique. “We knocked ourselves out trying to fit in but were ultimately betrayed by our tongues.”(pg.10)
What I took away from David Sedaris attempting to go back to school and learn a new language was, it brought him humility. Learning a new language can be one of the hardest tasks, especially as an adult. Actually, I wonder why children pick up languages faster than adults? Sedaris had to adapt, and change his view on the new language. It ended up bringing him back to the open mind of a young child. Which had to be difficult for him since he often feels inadequate as an adult and he already had troubles with speech when he was a child.
The relationship that I had with David Sedaris is almost like a friendship where Sedaris is sharing stories of his life. Stories that you can relate with even if they aren’t the same they have some similarities. A lot of these stories are very common in a way. For example, he talks a lot of the time about how his father has very high expectations for his kids. While these expectations are extreme the way that he described them is also what every parent wants for their kids. Then he also talks about how he has moments where he is afraid to be himself because he is scared of being judged, and that is something that I can relate to as well. His life is something that many people can relate to while he does have some stories that are hard to relate to there are many more that you can.
In the essay “A Shiner Like a Diamond” Sedaris was writing about how his dad holds his sister to this high expectation of her looks. How she has to look perfect so she can find a husband. He has this idea that the only way his daughter can be happy is by marrying someone. He cares so much about his daughter that he wants to make sure that she is as happy as she can be. While his ideas of what makes her happy are very extreme, he still wants what is best for her. He cares about her. I can relate to that because while my dad doesn’t have the same ideas he also wants me to be happy, and wants the best for me. My dad always talks about how I have to do something that I like, and how I shouldn’t settle. He tells me that for everything from my job right now, to my education. He just wants what is the best for me. While Sedaris’s dad doesn’t realize what he is doing is wrong in his mind he is helping his daughter by giving what he thinks is good advice. I was able to relate to that because I saw the connection about how at the end of the day our parents just want us to succeed.
Then in the essay “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities” Sedaris’s dad does the same thing with wanting his kids to play an instrument. He again thinks he is doing what is best for his kids but doesn’t realize that he is also trying to relive his childhood through his kids. He never learned to play an instrument but realized as an adult that he would’ve wanted to and now lives this dream through his kids. My parents have done the same thing to where they wanted me to do something that they never could have even though I didn’t want to. While with Sedaris’s case they were more extreme I had some similarities that I can make a connection with and helped me place myself a little bit more in his shoes in some cases.
Then in the essay “I Talk Pretty One Day” Sedaris talked about when he was taking the French class, and how while he did know some words his French needed a lot of help. Then the problem with his sub-par French was the way that his French teacher would call every student tout. She would criticize the student about how they would mispronounce a lot of the words, and how they could properly form a sentence, which demoralized Sedaris from sharing. He now feared the fact that his French wasn’t as good as some other students, and also how his teacher would just judge him instead of helping him. I had a similar experience when I had a Spanish teacher that would act similarly. While I knew Spanish already, there were a lot of words that I used that weren’t correct. They were more slang than the actual word in the dictionary, and she would call you out in front of the whole class. Which made it so that I would rather not share, and I didn’t put all my effort into all the assignments. Sedaris faced something similar to me which helped me make a connection with him, and also made me be able to know what he was feeling somewhat.
Sedaris lives life with many problems that a lot of us face in some cases he is way bigger, but they do have some similarities which help me make a connection with him. This book is a really funny book that deals with many serious topics, but these topics are sometimes very common, and also almost help with showing people that you aren’t the only person dealing with these problems. Sedaris is an inspiring author even he doesn’t try to be. His comedic style of writing gives the reader a sense that makes you think so what if you aren’t what society deems “normal” because at the end of the day you start to enjoy your life more when you stop caring what others think.
Me Talk Pretty One Day CHP: 1-6
David Sedaris is that one funny friend that makes you laugh harder than anyone else you know. Me Talk Pretty One Day has brought me immense amounts of joy this past week, similar to Irby, Serdaris has a quality that many few people possess, the ability to be authentic. With that authenticity he has birthed incredible humor. My first and genuine reaction to this book was surprise, once again I did not think that I would ever be prescribed a book such as this in an English class, so it delightfully threw me off guard.
Through every essay, he brings us through a series of stories throughout his lifetime, the first one starting off with his childhood trauma. Sedaris opens up about the horrors of being forced into speech therapy, and perfectly portrays that experience through the eyes of a child. Seven year old Sedaris saw the speech therapist as a secret agent, who took him away and locked him into a room for hours upon hours of torture, he described the humiliation he felt knowing his classmates knew he had to go to speech therapy, and comdecially explained his conversations with his speech therapist, who seems quite funny herself. Although I cannot relate to speech therapy myself, he was able to depict a clear picture as to what it is like to have to get pulled from his classroom every week, with a teacher who announces his leaving. David Sedaris is an author who is able to perfectly portray a dramatized child’s thoughts, which is why he is so humorous and delicately written.
Although he carries humorous traits, he also is able to speak about serious matters in a light hearted manner. In the essay, Twelve Moments in life as an Artist, he unfolds the truth behind drug abuse, and what he had to go through. At first he explains where he first began, in a college with a bunch of harmless pot smoking, but eventually it gatewayed into something bigger and much more powerful. This essay really stuck with me because he depicted the high behind the eyes of an artist who uses Crystal Meth, in a way that allows the reader to understand how they view and praise the drug. Sedaris used his crystal meth to help enhance his creative abilities, but also told us of the strange impulses it came with such as dragging a toaster through the woods. I am interested to see where his drug abuse takes him later on in the chapters, and if he will use the power of his words to possibly steer away his readers from the drug. This was the first essay that really went into topics other than comedy, and although he was able to write in a light hearted and slightly comedical manner, he was still able to inform the audience of the impulses from the drug.
Sedaris is someone who I would want to become friends with. After reading of his family matter, his drug abuse, and life experiences, he seems like an onion, someone who you would have to peel apart in order to reveal his deeper emotions. Sedaris also comes across as someone who uses humor as a coping mechanism, and has yet to show his raw and true emotions, which I doubt we will get to see due to said coping mechanism. But I can relate to him in that way, rather than talking about my past with grief, I tend to cover up past traumas with simple jokes to make sure the people around me aren’t uncomfortable, and I believe a lot of people can relate to this as I do to Sedaris. Overall I am excited to see where his story leads, and I am looking forward to hearing possinky about the lessons he learned from using crystal meth and the journey of his sobriety, I believe his writing could have an impact on many people because he so willingly depicts the drug the same way the drug users do, because he was/is one himself. I am also looking forward to hearing more about his family, how his mom’s death affected them, and possibly the character development of his unhinged brother.
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Oh I get you……..
My relationship with David Sedaris is one that is rather interesting. Sedaris really forms a relationship with the reader early on as he tells stories about his life that are full of experiences that a person could encounter any day. The relationship is formed between the reader and Author because a connection is made when the reader can relate to the author and because the stories told by Sedaris where all normal everyday experiences the reader can better relate to the author which helps strengthen the author to reader connection.
My relationship with Sedaris really stems from his honesty. Although he does exaggerate at times it is clear to see the honesty in his writing even if it’s a rather embarrassing moment. Similar to Samantha Irby they are both honest and tell their life stories as they are. Irby does tell her stories more explicitly than Sedaris but neither one of them fall short of telling their true life stories.
With that said I would have to say my relationship with Sedaris is stronger than Irby because I can better relate to Sedaris’s stories. In the first chapter Sedaris talks about how he didn’t like being one if the few kids that had to go to speech and growing up, although I didn’t go to speech therapy I could make a connection there with Sedaris because I was also one that didn’t like when I had to do something different than other people whether it was because I had gotten in trouble or because I missed a day of school and was playing catch up. Regarding family I could also make another connection with Sedaris there. As the book goes on the reader really gets to better know Lau Sedaris(David’s father) as to the type of person he was. In my eyes Lau seemed to be a person that really was smart and could help you in many ways. He also seemed to be open to allowing his kids to try things he liked hoping they would find a passion or find a similar liking to him. I made a connection there because growing up my father was also a huge part of my life, similar to Sedaris’s father, my father seemed to always find a way to help me due to the fact that he was so smart, through my eyes my father could have invited a toaster oven or transistor ratio if the time and place was right. Besides that my father was also one that was open to me trying things that he liked similar to Sedaris’s father, hoping I would find a hobby or a common interest with him.
With Sedaris and I having a bit of a connection through personality and family personality I am able to relate to Sedaris a bit and better understand his life stories to a certain extent. Having a connection with the author thought his writing is so important on so many levels because it can be hard to understand something when you can’t relate or haven’t been through it.
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28 October 2021
My relationship with David Sedaris as a reader is quite strange or at least much weirder than the relationship with Samantha Irby. Samatha Irby had a positive outlook on a lot of things if you exclude the pessimistic comments on herself while David Sedaris is almost the same except for a couple of differences in perspective of their life. If I were to best describe my relationship with David Sedaris I would probably describe it as Informal. The reason I say it’s informal is for some reason I can sort of relate to his stories even though I don’t have similar experiences but at least sympathize as if I was him which sounds very strange for how he tries to connect to his readers.
I can go more into detail by explaining parts of the story that I have read so far which is just past the chapter Big Boy. Most of these chapters I can’t directly relate to due to me not having these experiences however for the first chapter “Go Carolina” I can. I myself had a problem with pronouncing words that had T and C while Sedaris had problems with S. This chapter originally had me believing that the rest of the book was just going to be an autobiography of things he’s achieved throughout the entirety of his life but as I read I changed my opinion quickly.
The next significant chapter to me was the chapter “Twelve Moments in the Life of an Artist”
First of this chapter was extremely good and was personally my favorite out of the ones so far. The way David Sedaris formatted this chapter in particular by labeling the different sections in this chapter really made me feel as if I wasn’t reading a chapter in a book but instead short stories for brief parts of his life while still being unified by the overall narrative of him struggling to become an artist all while he discovers and deals with his addiction really made this chapter very compelling. This chapter also made me think through a lot of things since it was the first chapter that had severely captured me while making me almost examine his decisions in this chapter as if they were my own.
David Sedaris made this relationship between himself and the reader through simple but impactful experiences in his life. He uses common stories such as owning pets, trouble with his speech, or just problems with parents which almost any person can at least relate to. I say simple but impactful since the stories are somewhat simple and yet by the end, you can tell that they’ve had an impact on his life which cause the reader to then use their experiences to take in all that’s happened and create a different perspective from other authors with similar genres.
1 November 2021
My relationship with Sedaris is almost like i’m his therapist and he is telling me about his life stories. Sedaris goes into great detail when telling his stories and it allows me to think of my own reactions to his stories. It also feels like Sedaris is a friend of mine and we are exchanging life stories to each other. His tone of writing made it easy to relate to so it was enjoyable reading about his stories. He was funny and sarcastic at times so it made it feel a little more like he is just a friend of mine telling me stories.
I would describe the relationship of the reader to the author as that same type of relationship to a teacher and student. The author in this case is telling us about his stories and memories throughout his life. He is very informal and straightforward when telling the stories but also jokes around a little at times and veers off topic for a while. This reminds me of teachers when interacting with their students. The teachers need to be informal and straightforward when teaching so that the students can learn the information, but also teachers like to create a bond with their students. This can lead to the teachers having fun with the students and cracking jokes. It can also lead to the teacher getting carried away in conversation with her students that lead to the classroom talking about something completely different then what they are learning. All of this reminds me of the author and the way he writes to the reader.
Sedaris was able to make the relationship into reality by going into great depth when talking about his stories. It made it possible for me as the reader to relate to some of the things he said and be able to take the story into my head and into my reality.
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I believe that in order for an autobiography type of book to really be good, the author needs to develop a strong relationship with their audience. This helps the reader stay engaged and genuinely interested in what the author has to say. It also develops an unconscious sense of care in the reader. What I mean by this is as a reader when we feel connected to the author we want them to succeed and we want to learn from what they have to say. However, if that relationship is never established, the words that the author writes goes in one ear and out the other. By creating a foundation with the audience, the author is able to create a canal for their message to get through.
From the beginning of Me Talk Pretty One Day I was drawn to Sedaris and what he had to say. He was so raw and personal with his stories that it subconsciously developed a sense of trust towards him. It felt as though he had nothing to hide from me. This connection continued through the story, although it became harder to admit. With Sedaris being so genuine with his words, some of his stories and messages hit too close to home. At some points his experiences even annoyed me because I could relate them to things that have happened in my own life and that was hard to read. It was as if I was getting a chance to see a parallel situation of my own experiences even though I didn’t want to. It was as if you talked with a therapist and they explained exactly what you needed to hear and yet it still angered you to hear it. However, I still found myself rooting for things to work out for Sedaris because it felt as though if thighs worked out for him, it was a victory for me as well.
After finishing his book, I would define my relationship with Sedaris as strong, which is funny because he doesn’t know the first thing about me. However, now that I know so much about his life I feel like we are close. He helped me look at my own life differently and I am thankful for that.
Sedaris with the way he words his stories and real life interactions makes you feel welcome. Even from the beginning of the book I was already relating to him in so many different ways. For example when Sedaris began creating art because his sister was good at it made me realize that we have something in common because when I was younger I always played basketball even though I was not good at it but just because my older sister played and my parents would always push me to do sports. I would describe my relationship with Sedaris somewhat strong because we have had a lot of similar interactions with people which in reality makes you not feel so bad about yourself when you realize you don’t always go through these situations by yourself. He made the relationship with us a reality because even though he tries to turn these interactions into somewhat comedy you is very open and expresses how he truly felt with so many of these situations like any other person would go through. I was always able to relate myself with him through out the entire story and I really enjoyed that because it is not common to always find a book you can truly relate to
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