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Unformatted text preview: 11-9-06Writing 2TNY Comparison PaperDavid Sedaris: The Funny Man HimselfA comparison of his life and his writings from “The New Yorker”David Sedaris, an author who “draws inspiration from the things he sees and people he meets,” as well as his dysfunctional family, was born December 26, 1956 in Johnson City, New York (Casillo). His family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1962, where Sedaris spent his childhood years. Sedaris has obsessive-compulsive disorder, which, as a child, “led him…to lick doorknobs, light switches, and the occasional lawn ornament” (Bledsoe). As a teenager Sedaris would fantasize about having his own television show where he would travel the world with a faithful proboscis monkey named Socrates. Although this dream never came true, something more realistic, and perhaps even better, happened; he became one of the 21stcentury’s most popular humorists. Sedaris exclaims, “when I get in front of an audience I always think: 'This is what I wanted.' But I don't think it ever occurred to me when I was 12 that you could just read out loud and people would actually show up. It's the perfect job” (qtd. by Thorpe). Most of Sedaris’s works originate from vignettes about his past experiences and childhood memories. Though it’s obvious that many of his stories are exaggerated, they are done so in a way that emphasizes the humor of the situations, (even when the circumstances themselves aren’t what one would call humorous). This allows readers to identify with instances of embarrassing experiences, grouchy strangers, and scarring childhood moments, (to name a few examples). A lot of his stories are moments one 1would wish to forget, but as far as Sedaris is concerned, “the worse the experience the better the pay-off” (Thorpe). That being said, it is easy to see where Sedaris gets his ideas. The various techniques he uses to be humorous, to create vignettes, and to develop a story in which readers can relate are found in a few of his articles in The New Yorker, which include “In the Waiting Room,” “Turbulence,” and “The Understudy.”In the September 18th2006 issue of The New Yorker, David Sedaris’s short story “In the Waiting Room” was published. In the story, Sedaris reminisces about an embarrassing experience he had when going to a hospital in France, where he wound up in a waiting room in his underpants. By using repetition, he is able to make the story even more amusing. In the beginning of the article, Sedaris introduces the French word for O.K., “D’accord.” By starting numerous sentences with “D’accord,” Sedaris illustrates how he overused the word in France, since he didn’t want to learn the language. Having the word repeated in the story has the same effect; saying “O.K.” to everything will eventually lead to trouble, and in this case, it leads Sedaris into a public room wearing nothing but his boxers....
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- Fall '06
- Writing, Short story, The New Yorker, Gale, David Sedaris, Sedaris, InfoTrac