Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hobby-Horses, as a Beginning

After reclaiming—or re-stealing, as the case may be—the Tristworthy moniker, I found myself inclined to take another look at the book that captured my attention lo these several years ago. I’d intended to pick it up again (having never finished it in the first place) in preparation for the aforementioned film, so the effort taxed me little,—especially insofar as the Norton Critical Edition lies on a shelf not two cubits from my bed. I must say, my dear, that the volume made as significant an impression as ever, for much like the inestimable Moby-Dick generations later, Sterne’s work flows mellifluously from the page, less like a gurgling brook or a heaving ocean, however, than a science-center water table, with streams directed by creative but somewhat hyperactive youngsters.

I can sense that you would relish the chance to share in the literary experience, so allow me to provide a few pointers. Editions of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent. now show up online in both basic and graphically embellished versions, so you can indulge your curiosity without expending any cash. Or if your humours incline you more toward indolence, you may avail yourself of less tortuous resources summarizing the content, which may reveal the gist of the grist, as it were.

For those of a more scholarly bent, one can savour the annual publications of The Shandean, although you’ll end up shelling out a few pounds for the priviledge.

Whatever your choice in the matter, I hope you will find similar delights as I discovered,—or at least not become so annoyed with the text that you would begrudge my recommendation or me for giving it.


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