Friday, January 23, 2009

The Nerdy PC Guy

You've all certainly seen the great Mac commercials with Nerdy PC Guy John Hodgman. His role as "PC" has, after all, made him a modern pop icon.

But did you know that John Hodgman is a WWIDY (Writer Who Isn't Dead Yet)?

Granted, he's probably not a modern-day Shakespeare, but he's clever and funny, and he weaves apparently disconnected ideas into seamless narratives.

His stories have appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, McSweeny's Quarterly Concern, and other notable journals.

He's also published two books, The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require. They're both intentionally absurd and plotless. His chapter titles include "Short Words for Use on Submarines to Preserve Oxygen," "Seven Hunderd Hobo Names," and "Nine Presidents Who Had Hooks for Hands." (Again, this guy's really not a modern-day Shakespeare . . . really. If you're looking for high art, stop reading now and come back next week.) These books are part of a trilogy which will end with the publication of Hodgman's forthcoming book, That Is All.

If you'd like to see what Hodgman can do as a storyteller, check out this video. It's Hodgman telling a story about love and wonder and . . . uh . . . space aliens. Despite his tempered, comic tone, Hodgman shows real narrative wit and a sensitivity to language.

So, maybe he isn't Shakespeare, but he's fun. What's wrong with that?

(NOTE: We start reading So Brave, Young, and Handsome in 9 days, so get your copy soon.)

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