A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

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Cosimo, Inc., Nov 1, 2005 - Travel - 324 pages
5 Reviews
The crimson window-curtains... were drawn close; the sun was setting, and reflected through them so warm a tint into the fair fille de chambre's face, I thought she blush'd-the idea of it made me blush myself. We were quite alone; and that super-induced a second blush before the first could get off.-from "The Temptation"Laurence Sterne's revolutionary novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1767) plays with time, space, narrative conceits, and the very concept of the novel itself-it has dramatically affected the course of English-language fiction in the centuries since, with works from writers such as James Joyce and Thomas Pynchon showing his influence. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768) is the thematic sequel, a tale of a minor character from Shandy that is its own frolic of experimental fiction. Though less well known than its celebrated predecessor, this is an equally startling and frantically imaginative work from a writer some consider a comic genius.This edition also features the collection The Journal to Eliza, Sterne's impishly coy diary of a separation from his mistress, as well as numerous letters Sterne wrote to a variety of correspondents, including his wife.Irish clergyman LAURENCE STERNE (1713 -1768) also wrote the satire A Political Romance (1759) and published volumes of his sermons.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Another great example of why you need to really think about what a book's trying to do before you judge it. This is nice and subtle- on the one hand, it tugs the heart-strings unashamedly; on the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Snakeshands - LibraryThing

Sterne wanders around talking to swindlers and fops and very nice peasant folk, and keeps getting terribly attracted to women who he tells us of COURSE he did nothing with! A nice bit o' life-loving ... Read full review

Contents

I
ix
II
154
III
224
IV
247
V
267
VI
269
VII
271
VIII
278
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Page xiv - STERNE, for which the usher severely whipped me. My master was very much hurt at this, and said, before me, that never should that name be effaced, for I was a boy of genius, and he was sure I should come to preferment.

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About the author (2005)

If Fielding showed that the novel (like the traditional epic or drama) could make the chaos of life coherent in art, Sterne only a few years later in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760--67) laughed away the notion of order. In Sterne's world, people are sealed off in their own minds so that only in unpredictable moments of spontaneous feeling are they aware of another human being. Reviewers attacked the obscenity of Tristram's imagined autobiography as it was published (two volumes each in 1759, early 1761, late 1761, 1765, and one in 1767), particularly when the author revealed himself as a clergyman, but the presses teemed with imitations of this great literary hit of the 1760s. Through the mind of the eccentric hero, Sterne subverted accepted ideas on conception, birth, childhood, education, and the contemplation of maturity and death, so that Tristram's concerns touched his contemporaries and are still important. Since Tristram Shandy is patently a great and lasting comic work that yet seems, as E. M. Forster said, "ruled by the Great God Muddle," much recent criticism has centered on the question of its unity or lack of it; and its manipulation of time and of mental processes has been considered particularly relevant to the problems of fiction in our day. Sterne's Sentimental Journey (1768) has been immensely admired by some critics for its superb tonal balance of irony and sentiment. His Sermons of Mr. Yorick (1760) catches the spirit of its time by dramatically preaching benevolence and sympathy as superior to doctrine. Whether as Tristram or as Yorick, Sterne is probably the most memorably personal voice in eighteenth-century fiction.

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