Monday, July 06, 2009

Reader's Diary #505- David Sedaris: It's Catching

"It's Catching" is the first story in David Sedaris' When You Are Engulfed In Flames, which was a Father's Day present from my son. It's also found here at The New Yorker.

You may have noticed that I've reviewed a lot of New Yorker stories lately. It might be somewhat surprising to learn I've never actually held a New Yorker magazine. Long before I discovered their online offerings, I'd assumed it to be snooty (that's elitist, to the snooty). I don't know, maybe it's the top-hatted turtle-necked mascot squinting through a monocle that gave me that impression. I'd just about decided that guy was tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation, but wait...

Along comes my first Sedaris story. Hmmm. This is a tough call. On the one hand, there is a hint of mocking the yuppie set, but there's also a hint of pride in being ridiculously out of touch. Is Sedaris trying to make snobbery campy? If so, I'm not sure I'm in. Leg-lamps and velvet Elvis paintings might be fun, thinly disguised superiority not so much.

I just hope that New Yorker mascot isn't Sedaris himself.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments.)


Eva said...

I talked about my favourites from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's just-published collection. Here's the post.

Eva said...

Forgot to mention, one of the stories is available in The New Yorker! I love that they have so many online for free. :)

JoAnn said...

That New Yorker mascot does look a little snooty, doesn't he? I've listened to Sedaris read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (thought it was great), and also got a chance to go to one of his shows last winter. He is very funny in person!

I took a step outside my comfort zone to read Neil Gaiman this week. The post is at:

Teddy Rose said...

David Sedaris is on my TBR but I'm thinking that this may not be a good story for me to start with.

I think the New Yorker mascot looks very snooty. I have read the magazine when I was younger and thought it was very snooty back then! However, lately I have also been reviewing a lot of short stories that appear in theat magazine and have found some gem. Have I become more snooty, has my tastes changed, or has the magazine changes? I cannot answer that question. LOL!

Here's my short story, I couldn't wait to read it after I read your review last week!

Literary Feline said...

I subscribed to the New Yorker for awhile just for their short stories. I hadn't realized I could read them online at the time. I've since given up my subscription (too costly). I keep meaning to see their online offerings, but never seem to make time for it.

I haven't read anything by Sedaris, but I know many people find his writing hilarious. It will be interesting to hear what you think of his other stories as you go.

I am currently reading Sana Krasikov's One More Year. I've posted my review of the two most recent stories I've read from her collection here.