I've been thinking a lot about humor lately. It started a month or so ago when I read the new McSweeney's anthology, Created In Darkness, which collects humor shorts from a variety of McSweeney regulars. The intro by Dave Eggers talked about how he wanted McSweeney's in general, and this book in particular, to bridge that percieved gap between humorist and literary writers. Saturday I heard a good episode of Studio 360 on the radio. Along with the guest Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live, host Kurt Anderson talked about satire, parody and humor in the today's world.
Yesterday I started the newest book by David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. And while there are many moments that are funny I doubt I will ever read it again. They're all fun, anecdotal stories that he manages to tie together with a pretty little bow at the end, but not a whole lot to them as far as depth. Maybe I'm not playing fair with Sedaris since the Maggie Dubris book I just finished was so full of meaning. But while I can think of countless literary writers who work humor into their writing I'm having trouble thinking of someone who's main goal is to be funny and manages to be an exemplary writer. I know there must be at least a few, but who am I missing?