The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

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A forerunner of psychological fiction, and considered a landmark work for its innovative use of narrative devices, "Tristram Shandy" was both celebrated and vilified when first published in 1759. While the narrative's endless digressions drew criticism, the novel's bawdy humor made it a cause for celebration in eighteenth-century London. Originally released in nine separate volumes, it is literature's famed "cock and bull" story, reveling in parody and satire. Laurence Sterne's topsy-turvy masterpiece is, in effect, a novel about writing a novel producing a fictional world that is as strange and wonderful as the process of its creation. Impulsive, addictive, and absurd, it begins at the moment of Tristram Shandy's conception and shifts relentlessly into a hilarious series of disconnected episodes starring the hero's family, friends, and neighbors. The memorable cast of characters wanders in and out of the playful web of Sterne's deliberately visual text treatment, which includes endless dashes and asterisks, one-sentence chapters, unusual graphic renderings, and blank pages that invite the reader to interact with the book. Impossible to categorize and absorbing and surprising even today "Tristram Shandy" is a rare celebration of the art of fiction. It remains a beguiling milestone in the history of literature."

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  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 132 x 208 x 34mm | 439.98g
  • Dover Publications Inc.
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • 048645648X
  • 9780486456485
  • 117,994

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Introduction and Notes by Robert Folkenflik Rich in playful double entendres, digressions, formal oddities, and typographical experiments, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman provoked a literary sensation when it first appeared in England in a series of volumes from 1759 to 1767. An ingeniously structured novel (about writing a novel) that fascinates like a verbal game of chess, "Tristram Shandy is the most protean and playful English novel of the eighteenth century and a celebration of the art of fiction; its inventiveness anticipates the work of Joyce, Rushdie, and Fuentes in our own century. This Modern Library Paperback is set from the nine-volume first edition from 1759.

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