"He nice, the Jesus. He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today."
March 27, 2002 10:24 AM   Subscribe

"He nice, the Jesus. He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today." David Sedaris on striking cultural differences discovered during French language lessons.
posted by GriffX (19 comments total)
I think this is an excerpt from his book "Me Talk Pretty One Day". Actually, when you look at all of his Esquire articles, the majority seem to be very similar to things I have already read in his books.

Hmmmm. Does the magazine note this? I can't seem to find it.
posted by remlapm at 10:43 AM on March 27, 2002

Oh, I forgot to add that this is really funny ( as is all of his stuff ).
posted by remlapm at 10:48 AM on March 27, 2002

Nobody fucks with the Jesus.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:00 AM on March 27, 2002

Listen to David Sedaris discuss the difference between the US and The Netherlands' intreptation of Christmas here
posted by Shadowkeeper at 11:08 AM on March 27, 2002

David Sedaris makes me question my sense of humor. I've never met another person who doesn't find him completely hysterical. I read half of Naked and smirked a few times, but gave up eventually because it didn't seem worth my time. He seems like a mildly more hip Dave Barry...except I think I like Dave Barry more.

His sister is really funny. At least Strangers with Candy was.
posted by Doug at 11:33 AM on March 27, 2002

Actually, David Sedaris tends to use the same material over and over (not that I mind). If you check the notes in his book, I think you'll find these stories had been used on NPR (usu. "This American Life") and in Esquire, and then he gets them together and puts them in a book. He can profit three times from the same story.

Good for him. Speaking of the book, I particularly enjoyed his stories of Raleigh, because I'm from there. It's great reading stories about one's hometown by a master of storytelling.
posted by meep at 12:00 PM on March 27, 2002

Now that my daughter's old enough to know the truth about Santa Claus, I have replaced Night Before Christmas with The Santaland Diaries as traditional recitation on Christmas Eve.
posted by Danf at 2:40 PM on March 27, 2002

...the majority seem to be very similar to things I have already read in his books...

Yes, yes. God forbid someone take a collection of their previously compiled work and turn it into a book...
posted by Danelope at 3:22 PM on March 27, 2002

Doug - Don't worry. Sedaris isn't funny. He's "clever" and "witty," or so I'm told. From what I've seen, he's nothing more than a pompous hack who gets laughs from the NPR-listening psuedo-cultivated middlebrow literati because they want to come off as "witty" and "clever" as well. His books are a lifestyle accessory. They should be sold in home furnishing catalogs, not bookstores.

P.S. - Dave Barry, on the other hand, is hilarious. The mark of a true comic genius is a willingness to look ridiculous for the sake of a laugh. You can't protect your image/ego and be funny at the same time. Even "clever" humorists have to be willing to risk looking like a complete jackass from time to time.
posted by hipstertrash at 3:49 PM on March 27, 2002

Doesn't Sedaris sacrifice his ego for the sake of comedy in Big Boy, the hilarious short story which also appears in Me Talk Pretty One Day?
posted by gnz2001 at 4:02 PM on March 27, 2002

Actually, hipstertrash (and I am not making this up) many of Sedaris' funniest stories are about his failings and shortcomings. Have you actually read him, or is your name and attitude a form of internet Method acting?
posted by GriffX at 5:04 PM on March 27, 2002

GriffX - I'm not well versed, but I've perused a bit. From what I can tell, even when he's self-effacing he is still quite self absorbed and egotistical. Elizabeth Wurtzel, for example, goes on and on about her problems and shortcomings, but that doesn't make her any less of an inflated narcissist. Perhaps I need to take a closer look, but what I have seen leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially the little personality cult that seems to be deveolping around him. I'm actually quite hard pressed to distinguish between the man, the writer, and the David Sedaris Brand Name.
posted by hipstertrash at 5:23 PM on March 27, 2002

personality cult? the David Sedaris Brand Name? Sweet Zombie Jesus, this isn't Madonna we're talking about! This is a humorous gay writer of modest upbringing who I believe was cleaning apartments in New York City when he was discovered.

Sedaris is one of the only writers to make me laugh out loud when reading his stuff. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and his stories tend to reflect his own embarrassments rather than trashing anyone else. (Even when writing about his 'affair' with Mike Tyson--and their cat Pitty Ting--he makes the guy more endearing than ridiculous)

This anti-cool thing is so tired, and is itself a lifestyle accessory. What's the difference between liking a writer because you heard him on NPR, and disliking him because people who listen to NPR like him? Maybe someone should go back to those Daria reruns and leave the reading to the adults.
posted by troybob at 5:44 PM on March 27, 2002

i dunno much about NPR folk, but i picked up "Me Talk Pretty One Day" after a suggestion from my coworker, who had picked it up randomly (we work at a bookstore.). maybe you just have to be into that kind of eggers/tycho style of wit/humor. the "big boy" chapter alone is worth the 14.95$ (eep!) i paid for the paperback... it might be unhip-'cause-it's-trying-to-be-hip, but i still like his work..

and no, i don't like the strokes.
posted by lotsofno at 5:56 PM on March 27, 2002

I thought it was funny. I don't know who he is, or anything about him. Can I have a "NPR-listening psuedo-cultivated middlebrow literati" t-shirt anyway?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:28 PM on March 27, 2002

Cool, I listen to NPR because the only alternative is Rush and Dr. Laura so now I'm psuedo-cultivated middlebrow literati too!
posted by ArkIlloid at 8:39 PM on March 27, 2002

I like Sedaris, but I recognize that he's like James Thurber: His humor won't last. That's my conclusion, the result of reading a couple of Sedaris books and a couple of Thurber books recently.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:52 PM on March 27, 2002

I like Sedaris' work, but it always seemed that the portrayal he presented of himself was that of not always a real nice person. It was almost a shock to meet him at a reading of his work and find that he seemed not only humble, but genuinely gentle and kind-hearted.

Of course, he's not Dave Barry, but who is?

Mo Nickels - James Thurber won't last? Hello? The man's been dead for 41 years and his work is still brilliant. Admittedly, some of his topical articles may not be enduring, but his best work is as good as it ever was. I just reread The Thirteen Clocks recently and was totally blown away.
posted by tdismukes at 6:13 AM on March 28, 2002

I don't think he's that funny. He's a good observer, but Naked was a painful read. At least the few chapters I could finish.

Some of his observations about France are very funny and interesting, for example his dissortation on Picard Surgel├ęs (a French store which sells nothing but high-quality frozen foods).
posted by ParisParamus at 6:42 AM on March 28, 2002

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