A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

Laurence STERNE (1713 - 1768)

After the bizarre textual antics of "Tristram Shandy", this book would seem to require a literary health warning. Sure enough, it opens in mid-conversation upon a subject never explained; meanders after a fashion through a hundred pages, then fizzles out in mid-sentence - so, a plotless novel lacking a beginning, a middle or an end. Let us say: an exercise in the infinitely comic.

"There is not a secret so aiding to the progress of sociality, as to get master of this short hand, and to be quick in rendering the several turns of looks and limbs with all their inflections and delineations, into plain words."

Sterne calls his fine sensitivity to body language (as we now term it) "translation". Much of the pleasure to be had from this wonderfully engaging book comes from his unmatched ability to extract random details from the chaos of experience to create comic turns imbued with Feeling. His Parson Yorick is the Sentimental Traveller: certainly a Man of Feeling, but one in whom "Nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece..." (Summary by Martin Geeson)

Genre(s): General Fiction, *Non-fiction, Travel & Geography

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - "They order, said I, this matter better..." Martin Geeson
00:16:38
Play 02 02 - Preface. In the Desobligeant. Martin Geeson
00:12:23
Play 03 03 - "I perceived that something darken'd..." Martin Geeson
00:12:59
Play 04 04 - "This, certainly, fair lady! said I..." Martin Geeson
00:15:38
Play 05 05 - "Having, on first sight of the lady..." Martin Geeson
00:11:57
Play 06 06 - "I never finished a twelve-guinea bargain..." Martin Geeson
00:14:37
Play 07 07 - "As La Fleur went the whole tour..." Martin Geeson
00:15:26
Play 08 08 - "Having settled all these little matters..." Martin Geeson
00:14:23
Play 09 09 - "The words were scarce out..." Martin Geeson
00:16:54
Play 10 10 - "When a man can contest..." Martin Geeson
00:14:30
Play 11 11 - "I had counted twenty pulsations..." Martin Geeson
00:15:11
Play 12 12 - "I had never heard the remark..." Martin Geeson
00:15:54
Play 13 13 - "What the old French officer had..." Martin Geeson
00:10:27
Play 14 14 - "When I got home to my hotel..." Martin Geeson
00:15:25
Play 15 15 - "The bird in his cage..." Martin Geeson
00:14:41
Play 16 16 - "Before I had got half-way..." Martin Geeson
00:12:48
Play 17 17 - "I found no difficulty in..." Martin Geeson
00:19:22
Play 18 18 - "And how do you find the French?" Martin Geeson
00:16:37
Play 19 19 - "If a man knows the heart..." Martin Geeson
00:13:43
Play 20 20 - "It was Sunday; and when La Fleur..." Martin Geeson
00:10:05
Play 21 21 - "Now as the notary's wife..." Martin Geeson
00:12:57
Play 22 22 - "The man who either disdains..." Martin Geeson
00:17:57
Play 23 23 - "I never felt what the distress..." Martin Geeson
00:12:46
Play 24 24 - "There was nothing from which..." Martin Geeson
00:10:32
Play 25 25 - "When you have gained the top..." Martin Geeson
00:15:55