David Sedaris at The Village Voice Bookshop, November sixth, 2008
When David Sedaris read at The Village Voice Bookshop for the launch of his sixth collection of stories, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, by 7pm the shop was completely packed. People were sitting on the floor, on the steps and watching the reading being broadcast on a screen downstairs. Throughout the following hour, ripples of laughter from a cheerful audience filled the air with thrills and a festive ambiance, slowly turning the event into a moment of bliss.
In the first video, David reads from a story written for The New Yorker in which he gave his impressions on the last days of the 2008 presedential campaign and vented his anger on the undecided voters. The elections bring back childhood memories of the 1968 Nixon/Humphrey campaign, and in his typically hilarious style, Sedaris tells how his mother asked the young David to cast her vote for her. He then discusses how his books and humour are received in countries around the world.
The second story David read that evening highlights his nabokovian passion for words and details. Sedaris writes for the joy of giving each word its due; resonance, accent, space, tone and colour. Like Nabokov, he plays with foreign words, bending them to his will, weaving their sounds and meaning into a feast for the listener's ears.