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Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey…
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Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey (Modern Library)

by Laurence Sterne

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Interesting and crazy to reflect that this book, more so than most English classics, has began to fall out of print. For any reader able to navigate a language that's not one hundred percent contemporary and a culture that's not identical to our own, Tristram Shandy has got to be the funniest classic English novel. ( )
  FredSmeegle | Feb 18, 2009 |
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I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679600914, Hardcover)

Tristram Shandy provoked a literary sensation when it first appeared in a series of installments between 1759 and 1767. The ribald, high-spirited book prompted Diderot to hail Sterne as 'the English Rabelais.' An ingeniously structured novel (about writing a novel) that fascinates like a verbal game of chess, Tristram Shandy is both a joyful celebration of the infinite possibilities of the art of fiction and a wry demonstration of its limitations. Many view this picaresque masterpiece as the precursor of the modern novel.

A Sentimental Journey, which came out in 1768, begins as a travelogue. Yet it ends as a treasury of portraits, sketches, and philosophical musings, for as Virginia Woolf observed: 'A Sentimental Journey, for all its levity and wit, is based upon something fundamentally philosophic--the philosophy of pleasure.'

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

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