David Sedaris' dry wit attacks Spreckels

    ne commemorative feature in Esquire’s recent 70th Anniversary edition was the editor’s picks of the best 70 sentences ever written. Included on this list was a sentence composed by writer David Sedaris: “”That shit don’t mean fuck to me.””

    Courtesy of http://home.pacifier.com/paddockt/sedaris
    No mirrors: There’s no need for special lights or effects when the satiric writer David Sedaris performs a reading in San Diego.

    The famous phrase was taken from a story about Sedaris’ younger brother, Paul, entitled “”You Can’t Kill the Rooster.”” Like much of Sedaris’ material, the piece is about his family and the hilarity and absurdity it exudes. Sedaris also writes on other topics: the Christmas myths of foreign countries, gun laws in various states and portable external catheters, to name a few. No matter what his subject, the characteristic dry prose in which it is written makes for a riotous read.

    Perhaps the only rival to reading David Sedaris is hearing David Sedaris read himself. The audience at his upcoming Spreckels Theatre reading will be treated to this experience. His voice, which he describes as “”high-pitched and girlish,”” is also dry and monotone, and perfect for mocking. It is the ideal medium for communicating the eyebrow-lifted amusement and sardonic wit in which his stories are steeped. Disdain for exclamation points has never been more apparent ‹ or funny.

    Sedaris, 46, captured public attention in 1993 when he began reading diary entries for National Public Radio’s “”Morning Edition.”” In the 10 years since then, he has authored the books “”Barrel Fever,”” “”Holiday On Ice,”” “”Naked,”” and “”Me Talk Pretty One Day,”” a best-selling collection of essays about his own life. He has also contributed frequently to Esquire and NPR, and has co-written several plays with his sister Amy Sedaris. “”Naked”” may soon make its way to the silver screen.

    Sedaris’ most captivating quality (one that promises that any movie about his life will be heartfelt as well as hysterical and guarantees audiences will be touched as well as entertained) is that his stories and essays don’t stop at humor. Sedaris is one of the most satirical writers of the past decade, and he reigns supreme over his particular brand of humorous essay, incorporating elements of remarkable intimacy and honesty into many of his pieces.

    This is especially noticeable during his readings. In one breath he describes the half-mocking justification he offers to his sister Lisa for his constant exploitation of her hardships in his stories: “”It’s not like you’re going to do anything with it.”” In the next breath, he is saying tenderly, “”Forgive me.””

    Sedaris’ ability to reach his readers and listeners by way of both riotous sarcasm and sincere sentimentality makes him one of the world’s best storytellers. The chance to attend his reading at Spreckels Theatre on Oct. 22 should not be passed up. The event starts at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $22.50 to $33.50.

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