Understanding The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

A Professor and an Author Tell Us What to Make of Tristram Shandy

A Professor and an Author Tell Us What to Make of Tristram Shandy

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March 16 2016 12:19 PM
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Understanding Tristram Shandy

Laurence Sterne’s novel mocks “expert authorities.” Here’s what two of them had to say to our book club.

The Damnation of Obadiah.
The Damnation of Obadiah.

James Bretherton

This article is part of A Year of Great Books, a Slate Academy. Learn more at Slate.com/GreatBooks.

In this Year of Great Books bonus discussion, Laura Miller talked to two experts about The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. She asked them about the role of sentiment in Sterne’s work, all those nose jokes, and what we can make of Walter’s dependency on learned texts and authorities. Laura talks to author Francis Spufford and to assistant professor of English Jess Keiser of Tufts University.

To access all features of this Slate Academy, or to learn more about enrolling, visit Slate.com/GreatBooks. This bonus episode supplements Laura and Will’s discussion of Tristram Shandy, which you can find here. Talk to Will, Laura, and other Year of Great Books members in our private Facebook group.

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