Me Talk Pretty One Day
Autor: David Sedaris
Titlu original: Me Talk Pretty One Day
Gen: eseuri, autobiografie
Anul aparitiei: 2000
Nr. pagini: 288 (Little, Brown and Company)
Nota mea: 3.5/5
Alte recenzii de acelasi autor: –
Așa cum unii se relaxează citind chick lit sau cărți pe care le uiți imediat cum le închizi, așa m-am apucat eu de citit cărți scrise de unele celebrități sau cărți amuzante, cum le spun eu. După ce-am început cu Ellen, am continuat cu David Sedaris, din simplul motiv că mi-a plăcut titlul și am găsit cartea pe o grămadă de liste de „funniest books you’ll ever read”. Și după nouă regulă, alternez cărțile serioase cu altele mai superficiale, doar de dragul de a mă deconecta și de a mă înveseli, după ce unele cărți mă solicită prea mult din punct de vedere sufletește și mental.
Wikipedia spune că Me Talk Pretty One Day e o colecție de eseuri, eu zic că e o colecție de amintiri ale scriitorului din diverse etape ale vieții lui. Un fel de autobiografie sacadată. Trece prin amintiri din copilărie, din tinerețea petrecută la New York și ajunge până în Franța, unde locuiește cu iubitul lui. David Sedaris e umorist, comedian, autor și om de radio și se pare că-i destul de apreciat pentru că a fost nominalizat la Premiile Grammy pentru două chestii diferite: pentru Best Spoken Word Album (Dress Your Family) și Best Comedy Album (Live at Carnegie Hall). Nu știam nimic despre el înainte să pun mâna pe ebook, da’ după ce i-am citit una dintre cărți, pot spune că sunt cât de cât familiarizată cu biografia lui.
Împărțită în două, Me Talk Pretty One Day vorbește în prima parte despre viața lui Sedaris în North Carolina, acolo unde locuia cu părinții lui, iar în a doua despre viața în Normandia, alături de partenerul său Hugh. Unele capitole sunt de-a dreptul savuroase, altele… nu prea. Mi-a plăcut îndeosebi primul în care relatează despre încercarea unui logoped de a-i corecta un defect de vorbire și cum începe să vorbească astfel încat să evite litera „s”.
At school, where every teacher was a potential spy, I tried to avoid an s sound whenever possible. “Yes,” became “correct,” or a military “affirmative.” “Please,” became “with your kind permission,” and questions were pleaded rather than asked.”
Plurals presented a considerable problem, but I worked around them as best I could; “rivers,” for example, became either “a river or two” or “many a river.” Possessives were a similar headache, and it was easier to say nothing than to announce that the left-hand and the right-hand glove of Janet had fallen to the floor. After all the compliments I had received on my improved vocabulary, it seemed prudent to lie low and keep my mouth shut. I didn’t want anyone thinking I was trying to be a pet of the teacher.”
Am crezut că totul se va învârti în jurul ideeii de vorbire, de limbaj și altele aferente, însă doar în a doua parte aveam să descopăr cel mai amuzant pasaj din carte. Dar ajungem și-acolo imediat.
M-am distrat și la partea în care profesorul lui de chitară îi cerea să-și imagineze că mângâie o femeie în timp ce cântă, lucru puțin cam neimportant pentru Sedaris, pentru că era homosexual.
„Mr. Mancini had a singular talent for making me uncomfortable. He forced me to consider things I’d rather not think about — the sex of my guitar, for instance. If I honestly wanted to put my hands on a woman, would that automatically mean I could play? Gretchen’s teacher never told her to think of her piano as a boy. Neither did Lisa’s flute teacher, though in that case the analogy was fairly obvious.”
Mi-au mai plăcut și descrierile membrilor familiei lui, familie numeroasă originară din Grecia.
„To me, the greatest mystery of science continues to be that a man could father six children who shared absolutely none of his interests.”
„Physically she’d been stitched up more times than the original flag, but mentally nothing seemed to touch her. You could tell Gretchen anything in strict confidence, knowing that five minutes later she would recall nothing but the play of shadows on your face. It was like having a foreign-exchange student living in our house. Nothing we did or said made any sense to her”.
„My brother politely ma’ams and sirs all strangers but refers to friends and family his father included, as either “bitch” or “motherfucker.” […] This is the grown man who now phones his father to say, “Motherfucker, I ain’t seen pussy in so long, I’d throw stones at it.”
Comentariile referitoare la cum a evoluat bucătăria:
„I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly finicky eater, but it’s hard to be a good sport when each dish seems to include no fewer than a dozen ingredients, one of which I’m bound to dislike. I’d order the skirt steak with a medley of suffocated peaches, but I’m put off by the aspirin sauce. The sea scallops look good until I’m told they’re served in a broth of malt liquor and mummified litchi nuts. What I really want is a cigarette, and I’m always searching the menu in the hope that some courageous young chef has finally recognized tobacco as a vegetable. Bake it, steam it, grill it, or stuff it into littleneck clams, I just need something familiar that I can hold onto.”
„The current food is always arranged into a senseless, vertical tower. No longer content to recline, it now reaches for the sky, much like the high-rise buildings lining our city streets. It’s as if the plates were valuable parcels of land and the chef had purchased one small lot and unlimited air rights.”
Pretențiile pe care le are de la un posibil iubit:
„Potential boyfriends could not smoke Merit cigarettes, own or wear a pair of cowboy boots, or eat anything labeled either lite or heart smart. Speech was important, and disqualifying phrases included “I can’t find my nipple ring” and “This one here was my first tattoo.” All street names had to be said in full, meaning no “Fifty-ninth and Lex,” and definitely no “Mad Ave.” They couldn’t drink more than I did, couldn’t write poetry in notebooks and read it out loud to an audience of strangers, and couldn’t use the words flick, freebie, cyberspace, progressive, or zeitgeist. They could not consider the human scalp an appropriate palette for self-expresson, could not own a rainbow-striped flag, and could not say they had “discovered” any shop or restaurant currently listed in the phone book. Age, race, and weight were unimportant. In terms of mutual interests, I figured we could spend the rest of our lives discussing how much we hated the aforementioned characteristics.”
Dar cel mai și cel mai amuzant mi s-a părut capitolul în care povestește cum a învățat limba franceză.
„I absorbed as much of her abuse as I could understand, thinking — but not saying — that I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself. Why refer to crack pipe or Good Sir Dishrag when these things could never live up to all that their sex implied? […] What’s the trick to remembering that a sandwich is masculine? What qualities does it share with anyone in possession of a penis? I’ll tell myself that a sandwich is masculine because if left alone for a week or two, it will eventually grow a beard. This works until it’s time to order and I decide that because it sometimes loses its makeup, a sandwich is undoubtedly feminine. […] Nothing in France is free from sexual assignment. I was leafing through the dictionary, trying to complete a homework assignment, when I noticed the French had prescribed genders for the various land masses and natural wonders we Americans had always thought of as sexless, Niagara Falls is feminine and, against all reason, the Grand Canyon is masculine. Georgia and Florida are female, but Montana and Utah are male. New England is a she, while the vast area we call the Midwest is just one big guy. I wonder whose job it was to assign these sexes in the first place.
Dar mai ales cum i-au explicat creștinii unei musulmane ce este Paștele:
„It would seem that despite having grown up in a Muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. “I mean it,” she said. “I have no idea what you people are talking about.” The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain. The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. “It is,” said one, “a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and … oh, shit.” She faltered and her fellow countryman came to her aid. “He call his self Jesus and then he be die one day on two … morsels of … lumber.” The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm. “He die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father.” “He weared of himself the long hair and after he die, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples.” “He nice, the Jesus.” “He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today.” Part of the problem had to do with vocabulary. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such complicated reflexive phrases as “to give of yourself your only begotten son.” Faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self-respecting group of people might do. We talked about food instead.
“And who brings the chocolate?” the teacher asked. I knew the word, so I raised my hand, saying, “The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.” “A rabbit?” The teacher, assuming I’d used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wriggling them as though they were ears. “You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?” “Well, sure,” I said. “He come in the night when one sleep on a bed. With a hand he have a basket and foods.” The teacher sighed and shook her head. As far as she was concerned, I had just explained everything that was wrong with my country. “No, no,” she said. “Here in France the chocolate is brought by a big bell that flies in from Rome.” I called for a time-out. “But how do the bell know where you live?” “Well,” she said, “how does a rabbit?” It was a decent point, but at least a rabbit has eyes. That’s a start. Rabbits move from place to place, while most bells can only go back and forth — and they can’t even do that on their own power. On top of that, the Easter Bunny has character. He’s someone you’d like to meet and shake hands with. A bell has all the personality of a cast-iron skillet. It’s like saying that come Christmas, a magic dustpan flies in from the North Pole, led by eight flying cinder blocks. Who wants to stay up all night so they can see a bell? And why fly one in from Rome when they’ve got more bells than they know what to do with right here in Paris? That’s the most implausible aspect of the whole story, as there’s no way the bells of France would allow a foreign worker to fly in and take their jobs. That Roman bell would be lucky to get work cleaning up after a French bell’s dog — and even then he’d need papers. It just didn’t add up.”
M-am distrat citind cartea și dacă vreți un moment de deconectare de la cărți mai serioase, poate îi dați o șansă.