What can we do with humor in literature? Listen to this episode of Saturday Show as the Austin Writing Workshop discusses the finer points of comedic writing and much, much more.

0:00 Introduction to Podcast

0:39 Reading of “Today’s Special” by David Sedaris

6:00 Group discussion of “Today’s Special,” including likeability, Sedaris’s biographical information, farmer’s, FarmersOnly.com dating site, farmers porn, single in the country, microniche, rednecks, Bones TV show, Moonshiners, sports, eHarmony, not being dateable, rejection by an entire dating site, the artifice of Sedaris, lack of technique, intuitive writing, racoon teachers, Jim Robison, Anne Robison, “Prett Ice,” being a lazy teacher, writing comedy stories, University of Houston, cheating at sports, political subtext, service industry, invisible techniques, maturing as a writer, culture, making fun of high culture, surprises, aspirin sauce, goofy dishes, the definition of art, inspiration, Lichtenstein Bobsled Team, Facebook, Fat by Raymond Carver, The Art of the Tale by Daniel Halpern, chalk sauce, hot dogs, vegans, filthy water dogs, and making sausage.

30:23 Group discussion of a member’s story, including explanation of a master’s thesis, works from 15 years ago, stopping to do comedy, size of the lens, lack of likeability of the main characters, telling and showing in the same paragraph, Saint Louis, trees, the great lines not connected, Annie LaMott, chattering voices, all the ugly cities, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Austin, San Antonio, Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, New York City, Disnification, overuse of the word Interesting, ending of the piece, slingshot technique, confusing the narratives, Woody Allen, Socrates, hemlock, being too clever, misogyny, Henry Miller, large breasts, running over mentally disabled people with a vehicle, Genghis Khan outlook on life, David Mamet, the sound of the sentences, singing the story, dialogue, having a foil, discussion of PLOT, literary vs. genre writers, George Saunders, plot through the iterative process, intuitive writing, The Glass Swan, plot structuring, cold editing, The Babysitter, Robert Coover, cut-and-paste fiction, translating Cory/Bory/Roazbear, linear storytelling, multiple perspectives, not knowing reality anyway, the jerks living in New York, absurdity in character, Women by Charles Bukowski, freedom of action, believability issues, archetypes in literature, and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.

1:19:33 End of Podcast

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos lives in Pittsburgh, PA, without a dog. He writes novels, short stories, grocery lists, and love letters to lasagna bakers. He also produces free audiobooks of public domain works on his YouTube channel. You can subscribe to that here: http://youtube.com/brooklynfrank

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  1. […] Saturday Show #85: Today’s Special by David Sedaris […]

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