Sunday, November 24, 2013

laurence sterne

We rarely dip so far into ancient history but today is the 300th birthday of Reverend Laurence Sterne, most recently of Shandy Hall. Rev. Sterne is best known 300 years later as the author of the book that cannot be filmed, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy.

If you are a reader, and have not yet read Tristram I urge you,  READ it. It is an especially good winter read.  Tristram written in 9 books, the first 2 published in 1759, is primarily Mr. Shandy's life story, interspersed with diversions, back stories, out takes, tall tales and lessons.  The diagrams below from Book 6 are Tristram's observations on his diversions.  It took Sterne 3 books and 2 years before Tristram was born.

It's funny, bawdy, clever and informative at the same time.  You may find it a bit too much to swallow in one bite.  If so, take a bite here and there as it suits.  You will be well rewarded for your patience.



Anonymous said...

However it WAS finally filmed (as Tristram Shandy & starring Steve Coogan)and quickly disappeared from movie screens. Although the movie does not (and cannot possibly) capture those unique aspects of the book that you describe it does capture a spirit and tone and IS worth watching -- and is not short of laugh-out-loud funny moments.

Anonymous in NY

Toad said...

It was mere a Cock and Bull story, but I agree well worth watching. Unfilmable was Coogan's description.

LPC said...

You are so erudite. I could not read that, when assigned. My papa would clap your shoulder and beam. I appreciate you bringing the Best of the West to us, we don't deserve you:).

Anonymous said...

As well as the film there is Martin Rowson's graphic novel of Tristram Shandy - a remarkable work. And the clever new edition of the book by Visual Editions - a wonder in itself. I saw both of these at Shandy Hall