Monday, October 02, 2006

Menage-a-trois with Mark Twain

In addition to attending the Telluride Film Festival for our first anniversary last year, my wife and I also spent the week laughing our you-know-whats off to 14 hours worth of CDs of humorist David Sedaris reading essays from his numerous books. So it seemed fitting that, for our second anniversary (postponed for a month for my wife to make it out to New York--hooray!), we should continue the menage-a-trois.

Last night, at the Count Basie Theater in Red Hook, New Jersey, we spend the evening with David...and a thousand other delighted fans as he used us as his guinea pigs, striding to the podium with a bulging manila folder tucked under his arm and testing new stories on us, unobtrusively taking notes based on our reactions.

At one point while he read hilarious excerpts from his diary, I found myself wondering if anyone would bother reading his diaries when he died. Why would they, I asked myself. That is generally only done when the dead person's diaries are of enough cultural significant that a biographer would want to include them in his research. And that's when it hit me. Well over a century ago, when people sat for similar readings by Mark Twain, did they wonder the same thing? Because, in my mind, these men are remarkably similar--authors who use humor and verbal repartee to weave stories and commentary on the human condition that is both hilarious and incisive. David Sedaris is the Mark Twain of our generation.

We stood in line to say hi and to mention that he'd unknowingly spent the past several anniversaries with us. He smiled when picking up his pen to sign one of his books we'd brought from home: "Dear Brandon and Stephanie, for your next anniversary I want you to go to Scotland."


Anonymous Paul said...



11:09 AM  
Anonymous nate said...

Yes, brilliant! Nothing to add!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's phenominal! Ross and I spent our road trip yesterday reading outloud from "Me Talk Pretty One Day". His intro to Sedaris - fortunately he passed the test and liked it :)


1:30 PM  

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