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Sedaris February 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hvandolsen @ 10:59 pm

I think one of the main things that attracts me to Sedaris’ writing style is his humility and his ability to make light of a somewhat uncomfortable or sensitive subject. We discussed this a lot in class on Wednesday, but when I read back through the stories his light style still stuck with me. ¬†For instance, the subject matter of “A Plague of Tics” is taboo, but he is able to create funny anecdotes that lighten the weight of the delivery. One of my favorite moments that to me is so his voice is on page 368, “Only a confirmed idiot would rather wander the halls of my high school dressed in a floor-length caftan;as for the countless medallions that hung from my neck, I might as well have worn a cowbell.” Sedaris’ humility is so refreshing. My favorite type of humor is self-deprecating humor. I have trouble dealing with people who take themselves to seriously all of the time. Sedaris knows how he was acting was ridiculous and laughs at the image of himself as child. However, in “That’s Amore” he is still able to laugh at himself. Instead of being overly offended by Helen’s ridiculous commentary and views of life, Sedaris simply laughs them off and secretly agrees sometimes too. Sedaris writes, “The woman unfurled a few thick fingers, the way you might when working an equation: 2 young men + 1 bedroom – ugly panelling = fags. ‘Yeah, we met.’ Her voice was heavy with disdain. ‘We met, all right.'” I feel as though this excerpt represents Sedaris’ self-deprecating humor as well. He uses a stereo-type to make fun of himself. Sedaris is now one of my favorite writers and I’m going to read more of his stuff later on.


Reflection on “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” February 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hvandolsen @ 1:42 pm

For starters, I enjoyed this piece a lot more than Buckley’s piece from yesterday. I believe that this story touches upon an issue that is often times unrecognized. One of the most beautiful parts of this piece was her shift in and out of Spanish itself. I loved how she’d give a Spanish phrase or quotation (translate it of course) mixed in with the rest of the story. I felt that this shift was indicative of her entire argument. In addition, I was unaware that there was a whole different culture of Chicano which had its own separate language and in turn identity. As bad as this may sound, I truly just assumed that there was Spanish and than there was English. However, after reading this story I realized that there could be a blend between the two. This blend came from Spanish individuals living in the U.S. being forced into a different language. What astonished me was how Americans sought to get rid of the accents of the Spanish people. To me this is unbelievably wrong, it is robbing an individual of who she is. It is not that Americans looked to simply encourage immigrants to learn English, they hoped to leave no trace of who these people once were. Their former lives were erased. It saddens me to think that our country which preaches equality and freedom for all would commit such a crime. Buckley’s piece advocating freedom of expression in its own way. I see the parallel between these two pieces because both seek to use language as a form of identity.