I’ve been chuckling along to Me Talk Pretty One Day, a collection of comic writing from David Sedaris. It covers stories from youth to his art school days, where “a fistful of burning hair could not begin to represent the mess I had made of my life.” It continues to his current life as a writer – which he emphasizes is a real typewriter type author… a machine “where the smack and clatter…. suggests you’re actually building something.”
The characters are great, full of the types of people we usually all suffer in silence (the guy with you in a dead end job, who keeps telling you “I could have been doing something”). It is also full of little nuggets of wisdom, such as the point of fantasies is that they allow you to “skip the degradation, and head straight to the top”. I also liked his idea of a ‘Guessay’ – where you generate ideas (for a play, book, or TV show) by writing up a guess of what your idol might do in the future. Our idols are always a perfected idea of our own potential.
The highlight, however – and the source of his book’s title – is two perfect essays describing the horrors of learning French under a tyrannical French teacher. Mangled French is translated back into English, to describe terror filled, concentration camp-like huddled discussions between verbally abused students.
“Sometimes me cry alone at night.”
“That be common for I, also, but be more strong, you. Much work and some day you talk pretty. People start love you soon. Maybe tomorrow, okay.”
Great stuff. Get it from Amazon – you won’t miss not having it.