LAURENCE STERNE – THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF TRISTRAM SHANDY, GENTLEMAN
Book Review from ViajeLiterario-AlohaCriticon
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is the best novel of Laurence Sterne. The novel was started in 1759 and only interrupted by the author’s death. It narrates, in the form of the protagonist’s monologue, the decline of a noble family. The great point of this work is the challenge to the basis of the traditional novel by means of experimentation in the formal and conceptual planes.
Clear antecessor of the stream of consciousness which was so characteristic in the first period of the 20th century with the postmodernist novel, the author conceives the narration as a cubist work in which the reader is an active participant and without his/her participation the novel loose its meaning.
Among its topics, we will find the conflict between reality and fiction (clear influence of Cervantes Don Quixote), references to John Locke’s ideas, Time as a concept, grotesque humour in the line of Rabelais and the most innovative Freudian interpretations, near the obscene, of the modern man’s conflicts. An essential book in the history of literature.