The meaning of Tristram Shandy’s digressions, hobby horses, and allusions to John Locke.

This Hilarious Novel Shows Why Digression Is the Soul of Literature

This Hilarious Novel Shows Why Digression Is the Soul of Literature

Comments
Slate Plus
Your all-access pass
March 10 2016 4:26 PM
Comments

About Tristram Shandy

Everything we learned about humor, satire, and leading a good life from Laurence Sterne’s digressive masterpiece.

George Cruikshank's illustration to Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.
George Cruikshank’s illustration to Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.

George Cruikshank

This article is part of A Year of Great Books, a Slate Academy. To learn more, read Laura Miller’s introduction to the series, or visit Slate.com/GreatBooks.

Listen to Laura and Will reflect on their reading of our first Year of Great Books selection, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne.

To listen to forthcoming episodes of Year of Great Books, subscribe to the Slate Academy podcast feed at Slate.com/GreatBooks.

Talk to Will, Laura, and other Year of Great Books members in our private Facebook group. And here’s everything else you should read to supplement your Slate Academy reading of Tristram Shandy:

Introducing “A Year of Great Books” by Laura Miller and Gabriel Roth, Dec. 16
The Vote, by Laura Miller and Will Oremus, Dec. 16
Introducing Tristram Shandy by Laura Miller, Jan. 7
Which Edition of Tristram Shandy Should I Get? by Jess Keiser, Jan. 12
How Modern Is Tristram Shandy? by Jess Keiser, Jan. 19
Life Sentence by Ted Scheinman, Jan. 28
Literature’s Greatest Mansplainer by Laura Miller, Feb. 2
The Man From Uncle by Ted Scheinman, Feb. 8
Tristram Shandy Was a Runaway Best-Seller. What Did That Mean in 1760? by Laura Miller, Feb. 9
Tristram Shandy: The Comic Book by Charlotte Lindemann and Gabriel Roth, Feb. 18
A Triumphant Failure by Ted Scheinman, Feb. 29

And then get started on our next selection: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

Subscribe to our Year of Great Books newsletter to receive updates about the series.