Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Guidance and Folly

            Within the first few pages of reading Amy Sedaris’ I Like You, I was struck by her sense of humor and the way it is presented in her writing. She doesn’t appear to be trying to be funny, which is very different from the Tyler Perry reading from last week, instead, she seems to simply have a comical view on life and her observations just end up coming off as hilarious.
            Her humor is dry and at many times reminds me of a written form of slapstick (if there can be such a thing). The way she moves about a seemingly serious situation, one that’s been written about many times in a strictly business-like manner, she brings up the most absurd situations and describes immediately the downfalls of all of them.
            Just within the first few pages, I was reminded of the Goofy shorts that Disney used to make where you would have his character attempting to do or learn something while he was being taught/narrator by a separated, disembodied voice. You would see Goofy attempt something, such as playing baseball or driving, and as he would go, the man (as the voice was always male) would talk about the activity and then give Goofy alternatives so as to avoid the less that desired situations he was getting himself into.
            I felt very much the same while reading in Sedaris’ book, except I was Goofy and she was the voice. The way in which she explains the processes of setting up a party follow a system of leading you down one path and then saying “oh, but watch out for this” and then turning you around and pointing you down another, much the way the Goofy shorts were set up.
           Amy Sedaris has a wonderfully conversational and warm tone to her writing, letting readers feel as though they might know her. This tone mixed with her “How To” content allows for her humor to shine through. The way in which she presents circumstances and their follies back to back is highly reminiscent of the structure of slapstick and the unexpected ridiculousness, in this way, made me chuckle throughout the book.

                            (In case anyone is unfamiliar with the shorts I mentioned)            

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