It is a joyful celebration of the infinite possibilities of the art of fiction, and a wry demonstration of its limitations. It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next seven years (vols. It is all in good fun, a wonderful satire that aims for lowbrow comedy by using every single aspect of the highbrow educated culture of 1760. Satires of Pope and Swift formed much of the humour of Tristram Shandy, but Swift's sermons and Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding also contributed ideas and frameworks Sterne explored throughout the novel. Heinrich Heine (1796–1856) mentioned the book in his writings. It actually has more relevance for Tristram Shandy than many of the anecdotes Tristram himself tells in his story. Tristram Shandy is a comic masterpiece, like Fielding's Tom Jones, which arose barely after the invention of the genre. [10], Much of the singularity of Tristram Shandy's characters is drawn from Burton. Description. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Arthur Schopenhauer called Tristram Shandy one of "the four immortal romances. Trim was the adventurous ship's cat of the explorer Matthew Flinders, named after Corporal Trim, and a minor (yet titular) character in Bryce Courtenay's novel Matthew Flinders' Cat. J. I can't say enough about the contribution of this comic gem to the literary works that followed, especially in Ireland. where can i buy the visual edition editon? Tons of newer novels try to make it painfully clear just how decentralized they are, how utterly discursive and free from the confines of our often admittedly stodgy literary traditions they can be. [13], Some of Sterne's contemporaries did not hold the novel in high esteem, but its bawdy humour was popular with London society. Victorian critics of the 19th century, who were hostile to Sterne for the alleged obscenity of his prose, used Ferriar's findings to defame Sterne, and claimed that he was artistically dishonest, and almost unanimously accused him of mindless plagiarism. 4.3 out of 5 stars 25. Sterne's presence inside the narrative changed the course of traditional novelistic interpretations as his narrative structure digresses through many jumbled and fragmentary events into a non-traditional, dual overlapping plot. The Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Bogus Books" involves a bookseller selling stolen copies of rare books, in particular a first edition of Tristram Shandy. There is a strange coincidence, Sancho, in the little events (as well as in the great ones) of this world: for I had been writing a tender tale of the sorrows of a friendless poor negro-girl, and my eyes had scarce done smarting with it, when your letter of recommendation in behalf of so many of her brethren and sisters, came to me—but why her brethren?—or yours, Sancho! Basically, it covers everything but Tristram's life: his father's philosophical opinions, his mother's obsession with giving birth in London, his parson's ability to make everyone mad, his uncle's mania for toy forts, and, more than anything else, how stinkin' hard it is to write this book. Obstetric and Narrative Delays in Tristram Shandy; Travel Writing and Identity in Tristram Shandy; The Ideal Reader in Don Juan and Tristram Shandy The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman London: 1765-1769 Hepburn 7-15 frontispiece and title-page of vol. Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is an innovative, digressive, challenging, humorous and philosophical investigation into the relationship between literature and life.. See all 7 questions about The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman…, The Novel: An Alternative History, 1600-1800, GdXL aprile-giugno 2020: La vita e le opinioni di Tristram Shandy, gentiluomo, Background, context and other related comments, SOLVED. The narrative, such as it is, unfolds as a narrator tangents around an autobiography, augmented by an "editor" in the form of footnotes, and sometimes inserted right into the text. But a digression, however audacious or clever, is still a movement away from something, and Tristram Shandy doesn't really have anything to move away from, or back to. But don’t worry, it is not really a digression at all, as it is leading directly to the essence of this novel. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Modern Library Classics) Laurence Sterne. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a nine-volume novel published between 1759 and 1767 by English novelist Laurence Sterne. But given that truth, what am I to say about my own parleying with Sterne, if it goes on beyond an hour? Well known in philosophy and mathematics, the so-called paradox of Tristram Shandy was introduced by Bertrand Russell in his book The Principles of Mathematics to evidentiate the inner contradictions that arise from the assumption that infinite sets can have the same cardinality[34]—as would be the case with a gentleman who spends one year to write the story of one day of his life, if he were able to write for an infinite length of time. The distraction and annoyance led to the disruption of the proper balance of humours necessary to conceive a well-favoured child. So many great discoveries were made absolutely unintentionally, So many great discoveries were made absolutely unintentionally…, 963. Other major influences are Cervantes, and Montaigne's Essays, as well as the significant inter-textual debt to The Anatomy of Melancholy,[4] Swift's Battle of the Books, and the Scriblerian collaborative work, The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus. It discusses everything, from the doctrines of religion to military discipline, from inland navigation to the morality of dancing schools. Russian writer Alexander Zhitinsky made multiple references to Tristram Shandy in his novel The Flying House, or Conversations with Milord (the "milord" of the title being Sterne). Sterne is a hugely inventive, hugely capable writer. 5 and 6, 1762; vols. The Life of Tristram Shandy made him a celebrity and he was lavishly feted when he visited London. The ultimate edition of this comic masterpiece … Before I start my review of this delightful classic, I have to tell you a short anecdote from my teaching life. [4][10], Among the subjects of such ridicule were some of the opinions contained in Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, a book that mentions sermons as the most respectable type of writing, and one that was favoured by the learned. This seminal tale, waxing autobiographical, takes three of the nine volumes at play before our narrator is coaxed out and erroneously christened. If you can improve it, please do. In it, Walter Shandy attempts to build an Addition Engine, while Toby and Corporal Trim re-enact in miniature Wellington's great victory at Vitoria.[37]. Tristram Shandy or, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman purports to be a biography of the eponymous character. I was, in short, a pleasant surprise; a phrase which would not thereafter be renewed in describing me. [30] Many of his similes, for instance, are reminiscent of the works of the metaphysical poets of the 17th century,[1] and the novel as a whole, with its focus on the problems of language, has constant regard for John Locke's theories in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Laurence Sterne’s innovative novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, was written and printed over eight years between 1759 and 1767.This rare set contains first editions of all nine volumes, signed in three places by the author, and later owned by Thomas James Wise (1859–1937), the book collector and forger. Tristram Shandy gives a ludicrous turn to solemn passages from respected authors that it incorporates, as well as to the consolatio literary genre. Firstly, while still only a homunculus, Tristram's implantation within his mother's uterus was disturbed. I wonder if he got the idea from Tristram Shandy (since he said it was one of his favourite books), because this is exactly what Sterne has done here. But I still couldn't stand Tristam Shandy. But I still couldn't stand Tristam Shandy. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman has been listed as a level-5 vital article in Art. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (or, just Shandy, for short) was first published in the late 18th century in nine volumes and is still, by far, one of the most contemporary books around. Wittgenstein once noted that you could profitably write an entire work of philosophy that is comprised entirely of jokes. Over Half sold. But dont worry, it is not really a digression at all, as it is leading directly to the essence of this novel. I wonder if he got the idea from Tristram Shandy (since he said it was one of his favourite books), because this is exactly what Sterne has done here. Because he has chosen humor as his medium, Sterne, like Shakespeare's tragically prophetic and misunderstood jester Yorick (who seems to be chosen by Sterne as his emblem, since he figures not just here but also in his A Sentimental Journey), makes for an unusual sort of a sage figure. Laurence Sterne. Here is a work of pure postmodernism, published in the middle of the Eighteenth Century. And Sterne parodies Burton's use of weighty quotations. Or by you the, The name of this review in its saved document is “Review Tristram Shandy NEEDS A FULLER REVIEW”. And yet, I think, it is this very peculiar way of revealing insight where we thought there was none to be had (and in a way we thought it unlikely to get it to boot) that makes him interesting as a philosopher-novelist. Narrated by Shandy, the story begins at the moment of his conception and diverts into endless digressions, interruptions, stories-within-stories, and … A major influence on Tristram Shandy is Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman: (with an Introduction by Wilbur L. Cross) Laurence Sterne. Vonnegut. I thought, when I first noticed the glowing reviews of my friends, that they were using hyperbole when they claimed this to be one of the very first post-modernist, experimental novels, but it quickly became apparent that they were right : from Salman Rushdie to Italo Calvino or from David Foster Wallace to Louis de Bernieres, Blackadders or Monty Pythons, you can't help noticing the same rambling narrative structure, the satirical tone, the joy of absurdist humour, the pseudo-scientific rants and the bawdy, low-brow content riding side by side with moving, insightful glimpses at universal truths about human nature. Because he has chosen humor as his medium, Sterne, like Shakespeare's tragically prophetic and misunderstood jester Yorick (who seems to be chosen by Sterne as his emblem, since he figures not just here but also in his A. Wittgenstein once noted that you could profitably write an entire work of philosophy that is comprised entirely of jokes. Refresh and try again. The novel's success has resulted in permanent additions to the English lexicon;[23] within the text of Tristram Shandy Sterne describes the novel as "Shandean", coining a term which still carries the meaning that Sterne originally attached to it when he wrote, "I write a careless kind of a civil, nonsensical, good humoured Shandean book..."[24] Strongly influenced by Cervantes' Don Quixote, Sterne's Tristram Shandy also gave rise to the term "cervantic" (which Sterne at the time spelled "cervantick").[25]. Burton's attitude was to try to prove indisputable facts by weighty quotations. In 1766, at the height of the debate about slavery, Ignatius Sancho wrote to Laurence Sterne[26] encouraging the writer to use his pen to lobby for the abolition of the slave trade. Tristram Shandy did not last. Any person using this document file, for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk. "[15][16] Schopenhauer privately rebutted Samuel Johnson, saying: "The man Sterne is worth 1,000 Pedants and commonplace-fellows like Dr. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne is a publication of The Electronic Clas-sics Series. 7 and 8, 1765; vol. Hence this fuller review, dashed off in a few minutes, or tens or twenties or thirties of minutes. I should have written separate reviews for each of the original nine Shandy volumes, since I just spend about two days just trying to put some order into my multitudinous notes and now I have enough material and food for thought for at least nine reviews. I’m just going to stick that up here at the top, before I go off on a tangent, so it shows up for any of you browsing reviews attached to this book. Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy is narrated by the title character in a series of digressions and interruptions that purportedly show the "life and opinions" — part of the novel's full title — of Tristram. We have had a front view of that marvellous theatre, the soul; the arrangements of lights and the perspective have not failed in their effects, and while we imagined that we were gazing upon the infinite, our own hearts have been exalted with a sense of infinity and poetry."[35]. Part novel, part digression, its gloriously disordered narrative interweaves the birth and life of the unfortunate 'hero' Tristram Shandy, the eccentric philosophy of his father Walter, the amours and military obsessions of Uncle Toby, and a host of other characters. Even Sterne's name almost seems a play on words and it's easy to see why great minds who followed Sterne like Nietzsche (Note "The Ass Festival" in Zarathustra), Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), James Joyce (Ulysses) and J.P. Donleavy (Darcy Dancer, Gentleman, The Singular Man, Balthazar B., The Ginger Man, Saddest Summer of Samuel S.) admired immensely and were influenced by him. My wife heard an NPR report on the film, and they used the terms Post-Modern and Unfilmable so many times that she knew I would be interested. The footnoting at points is pre-reminiscent(?) This Penguin Classic contains. Though Tristram is always present as narrator and commentator, the book contains little of his life, only the story of a trip through France and accounts of the four comical mishaps which shaped the course of his life from an early age. There is so much in this novel one hardly knows where to begin, which is Sterne's hilarious problem for the first 300 pages or so. The work is a fictional autobiography. We saw the film and liked it. Consequently, apart from Tristram as narrator, the most familiar and important characters in the book are his father Walter, his mother, his Uncle Toby, Toby's servant Trim, and a supporting cast of … The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman = Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne, Hindsight is a beaut! Finally, as a toddler, Tristram suffered an accidental circumcision when Susannah let a window sash fall as he urinated out of the window because his chamberpot was missing. consciousness, heritage, name, appearance, and the soul. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published [18][19] Goethe praised Sterne in Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years, which in turn influenced Nietzsche. 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy' is a fictional memoir of sorts, but the novel is written in a manner to subvert the formal conventions of the novel (a proto-post-modern genre), and along the way, assert the role of the author as a Maximus Prime Writer, or in other words, someone in complete control of your television set. Culture BOOKS: THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF; TRISTRAM SHANDY Laurence Sterne's vast, hilarious 18th-century masterpiece has been adapted into a mighty comic book. In Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis refers to Tristram Shandy in the context of trying to describe his interactions with his own father: My father—but these words, at the head of a paragraph, will carry the reader's mind inevitably to Tristram Shandy. [2] Arthur Schopenhauer called Tristram Shandy one of "the four immortal romances."[3]. Tristram Shandy essays are academic essays for citation. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. It purports to be a biography of the eponymous character. I should have written separate reviews for each of the original nine Shandy volumes, since I just spend about two days just trying to put some order into my multitudinous notes and now I have enough material and food for thought for at least nine reviews. During the latter years of his life he alternated between there and recuperative continental travels. He is best known for his novels, “Human nature is the same in all professions.”. These digressive methods reflect his inability to simply explain each event as it occurs, as he frequently interrupts these events with commentary about how the reader should understand and follow each event. A lot of nonsense is written about Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman - and that's just as well. Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a huge literary paradox, for it is both a novel and an anti-novel. Neither the Pennsylvania State Which of course reminds us, as Montaigne once wrote, The hour of parleying is dangerous. Read...for without much reading, by which, your reverence knows, I mean much knowledge, you will no more be able to penetrate the meaning of my next marbled page (motly emblem of my work!) It purports to be a biography of the eponymous character. $14.99. Melvyn and … It is a joyful celebration of the infinite possibilities of the art of fiction, and a wry demonstration of its limitations. 7 and 8, 1765; vol. If it is a digression, (which I formally dispute, partly because you can’t really digress before you have begun, and partly because it is crucial for the review’s essential development), BUT IF it should be considered a digression (by the harsh standards of formal review guidelines and rules), it certainly is of the noble Tristram-kind known as a “progressive digression”. This article has been rated as C-Class. Tristram Shandy is like a literary Precambrian rabbit. As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram's narration of his life story. Start by marking “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman” as Want to Read: Error rating book. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, also known as just Tristram Shandy, is a novel by Laurence Sterne. of the hilarity of David Foster Wallace at times, and the tension between "narrator" and "editor" reminds me of Nabokov's unreliable narrators. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman = Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne, 963. Laurence Sterne's great masterpiece of bawdy humour and rich satire defies any attempt to categorize it. Welcome back. The paradox depends upon the fact that "the number of days in all time is no greater than the number of years". I can't believe I actually finished this. Uncle Toby is one of the great characters in English fiction. He relies heavily on his reader's close involvement to the text and their interpretations of the non-traditional plot. "The Smoking Batteries": Trim, Toby's corporal, invents a device for firing multiple miniature cannons at once, based on a hookah. In between such events, Tristram as narrator finds himself discoursing at length on sexual practices, insults, the influence of one's name, and noses, as well as explorations of obstetrics, siege warfare, and philosophy as he struggles to marshal his material and finish the story of his life. The medieval structure still stands today, and is under the care of the Laurence Sterne Trust since its acquisition in the 1960s. Book 1 begins with Tristram's conception, which went wrong because Mrs. Shandy interrupted Mr. Shandy exactly at the moment of ejaculation. It is a fiction about fiction-writing in which the invented world is as much infused with wit and genius as the theme of inventing it. Summary Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. A short story Oh Most Cursed Addition Engine by H. S. Donnelly was published in the Canadian Science Fiction magazine On Spec #86. The movie plays with metatextual levels, showing both scenes from the novel itself and fictionalised behind-the-scenes footage of the adaptation process, even employing some of the actors to play themselves. Laurence Sterne (1713-68) was a clergyman. It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next seven years (vols. Not because it's 'bad' per se, (parts of it are extremely engaging and genuinely funny in a way that basically no writing. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. The text and notes are based on the acclaimed Florida Edition, making the scholarship of the Florida editors readily available for the first time. But despite what's happening in the world—or maybe because... No one description will fit this strange, eccentric, endlessly complex masterpiece. I wanted to like this, I really did. [s], May 2017 - The Life and Times of Tristram Shandy, 27 New Dystopian Novels for Your Post-Apocalyptic Reading List. One has to laugh at Sterne's tearing out of chapters, allowing the reader to pencil in his favorite profanities, making sense of pages of black ink, marbled patterns, blank pages and squiggled lines marking little ups and downs -- as obscure as the raw meaning of life itself. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. It is a fiction about fiction-writing in which the invented world is as much infused with wit and genius as the theme of inventing it. any more than mine? Michael Nyman has worked sporadically on Tristram Shandy as an opera since 1981. Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift were major influences on Sterne and Tristram Shandy. Whereas even with other "revolutionary" works one can usually still trace a line of. When we say contemporary, we mean in terms of how it looks and reads. Its style is marked by digression, double entendre, and graphic devices. Tristram Shandy Tristram is both the fictionalized author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy and the child whose conception, birth, christening, and … [4][6] Rabelais was by far Sterne's favourite author, and in his correspondence he made clear that he considered himself Rabelais's successor in humorous writing. [27] "That subject, handled in your striking manner, would ease the yoke (perhaps) of many—but if only one—Gracious God!—what a feast to a benevolent heart!" [12], The novel also makes use of John Locke's theories of empiricism, or the way we assemble what we know of ourselves and our world from the "association of ideas" that come to us from our five senses. 5 and 6, 1762; vols. 4.4 out of 5 stars 9. My wife heard an NPR report on the film, and they used the terms Post-Modern and Unfilmable so many times that she knew I would be interested. Maybe I'm not a conceptually ambitious enough reader to appreciate something this free-floating, but this book makes even the most fanatically post-modern fiction seem 'tame' by comparison. Sterne is by turns respectful and satirical of Locke's theories, using the association of ideas to construct characters' "hobby-horses", or whimsical obsessions, that both order and disorder their lives in different ways. Paperback. We’d love your help. Studying a passage in Volume V, chapter 3, Petrie observes: "such passage...reveals that Sterne's copying was far from purely mechanical, and that his rearrangements go far beyond what would be necessary for merely stylistic ends".[4]. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman was originally published in the late 18th century in nine volumes, and has since been published in over 120 different editions. One has to love the way that Toby explains to Mrs. Wadman where he was wounded during one of her sieges of his fortress. 3 and 4, 1761; vols. Of course where one would today find cinematic references, there were instead references to Voltaire, Cervantes and Shakespeare. We saw the film and liked it. It stretches the means of narrative description in order to model our day-to-day processes of self-knowledge and meaning-making, while in the end showing that our narratives themselves make the self they aim to discover. Laurence Sterne was an Irish-born English novelist and an Anglican clergyman. Sterne incorporated into Tristram Shandy many passages taken almost word for word from Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, Francis Bacon's Of Death, Rabelais and many more, and rearranged them to serve the new meaning intended in Tristram Shandy. 1 (Hepburn 7) Sterne wrote something that actually is those things, and while that might be clever on his part, it's just not enough. Yorick is also the protagonist of Sterne's second work of fiction A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. The narrator addresses the reader directly, often anticipating the reader's objections and arguing his point. Ultimately, what the work explores is what self-knowledge means, and what it takes to make up a coherent story that defines a self out of our fragmentary experience. It is only in a Shandean spirit that my matter can be approached. Consequently, apart from Tristram as narrator, the most familiar and important characters in the book are his father, Walter, his mother, his Uncle Toby, Toby's servant Trim, and a supporting cast of popular minor characters, including the chambermaid, Susannah, Doctor Slop, and the parson, Yorick, who later became Sterne's favourite nom de plume and a very successful publicity stunt. As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram's narration of his life story. You've heard it, you may have even said it. The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy Essay 1679 Words | 7 Pages. As Sterne’s novel Tristram Shandy draws influence from John Locke’s An Essay of Human Understanding, in which Locke discusses the origin of personal identity, the individual identity is evidently reflected within the text. Hindsight is a beaut! Slope is also called "Obadiah", a reference to another character in Sterne's novel. [22]. 1, 2) – January 1767 (vol 9), This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 04:21. Hence this fuller review, dashed off in a few minutes, or tens or twenties or thirties of minutes. It is by the finest tints, and most insensible gradations, that nature descends from the fairest face about St James’s, to the sootiest complexion in Africa: at which tint of these, is it, that the ties of blood are to cease? With Steve Coogan, Jeremy Northam, Rob Brydon, Keeley Hawes. By I the writer? To be honest, I never heard of this book before the film came out last year. Despite its instant popularity and its ordinary sounding title, Tristram Shandy is a novel with no clear beginning, middle and end; its narrative content is distributed across bafflingly idiosyncratic time-scheme interrupted by numerous digressions, authorial comments and interference with the printed fabric of the book. A historic site in Geneva, Ohio, called Shandy Hall, is part of the Western Reserve Historical Society. 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy' is a fictional memoir of sorts, but the novel is written in a manner to subvert the formal conventions of the novel (a proto-post-modern genre), and along the way, assert the role of the author as a Maximus Prime Writer, or in other words, someone in complete control of your television set. (III.35). and how many shades must we descend lower still in the scale, ere mercy is to vanish with them?—but ’tis no uncommon thing, my good Sancho, for one half of the world to use the other half of it like brutes, & then endeavor to make ’em so. His book consists mostly of a collection of the opinions of a multitude of writers (he modestly refrains from adding his own) divided into quaint and old-fashioned categories. I especially enjoyed the dedications to famous persons before several of his volumes. Book: Author trying to write down every thought he ever had. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. T H E LIFE A N D OPINIONS O F TRISTRAM SHANDY, G E N T L E M A N. Ταρασσει τοὐϚ Ἀνϑρώπους οὐ τὰ Πράγματα, His narrative shows the roundabout, circuitous ways that insight is to be had in life. By I the writer? Revised Edition. or achieves its end in less than an hour? Whimsical typography and comically abbreviated chapters recall (precall?) [2], There is a significant body of critical opinion that argues that Tristram Shandy is better understood as an example of an obsolescent literary tradition of "Learned Wit", partly following the contribution of D W Jefferson. My own arrival was unremarkable----if somewhat delayed; My mother, prone to superstition and intuitive causality, -----she would, for instance, blame NASA for every weather event -----indicted a serviceman’s yellow jaundice for the tardiness of my conception. Sterne was no friend of gravitas, a quality which excited his disgust. Maybe he doesn't go in for the batshit linguistic free-for-all that people like James Joyce do, but he is every bit as bizarre and technically innovative. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Summary Let's rewind the clock to T-minus 20 seconds to the beginning of Tristram. [7][8][9] Sterne had written an earlier piece called A Rabelaisian Fragment that indicates his familiarity with the work of the French monk and doctor. [36], (The text of Tristram Shandy uses the phrase "my father" at the head of a paragraph fifty-one times.).