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For me, there’s a sure sign I’ll be able to muster the maturity to it takes to make art out of my life: When I’m finally able to laugh at a younger version of myself.
Still, as an old man, he cranked out these memoirs.
In one of his letters, he wrote a line explaining the experience and what it meant to him:"I am writing my life to laugh at myself, and I am succeeding."I like the word “succeeding,” here, because it suggests a new maturity in Casanova.
In our conversation for this series, Sean Wilsey, author of the essay collection , made his case for why literature needs laughter—though he suggested that successful humor requires way more than punchlines and good timing.
With help from a line by the classic Italian memoirist Casanova, Wilsey explained why good writing asks us to do a tricky thing: Let go of what we hold most sacred, and poke fun at ourselves.profile writer Joseph Mitchell—here, the madcap, meta-textual antics of the former blend with the latter’s brand of photographic portraiture.
You might think he’d have a worldly definition of success—he was obsessed with status in a status-obsessed time.
How To Write A Humorous Essay
He was from a humble background, an actor’s child, and for most of his life he badly wanted to be viewed on equal footing with the nobility and the ruling class.
To me, this line shows he actually grew as person—in a way that the memoirs don’t, quite.
It shows that, by the end, he could finally laugh at his gambling and his social striving and his endless affairs.
In an array of playful essays with serious hearts—there are pieces on NASA and skateboarding, New York City’s rats and Shake Shacks, the World Cup and U. road trips—Wilsey explores the tension between staying home and finding an escape.
staff writer, Sean Wilsey lives in Marfa, Texas—the remote town and artist’s enclave that he chronicles at length in the book.