American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- Sterne, Laurence 1713-1768. British writer whose masterpiece Tristram Shandy (1761-1767) was a precursor to modern stream-of-consciousness novels.
- n. English writer (born in Ireland) (1713-1766)
“I don't doubt the applicability of Wood's distinction between "mild tragi-comedy" -- what he will go on to identify as "humor" more properly understood -- and the "comic" as illustrated in Sterne or Pynchon.”
“Journey would be left if all that we call Sterne himself were extracted from it.”
“Without access to the European calendar, Bogle has recourse to a tally sticka device suggested by two literary figures: Crusoe on his island and the prisoner in Sterne's Sentimental Journey.”
“It takes a lifetime to arrive at the position described in Sterne's words: "I would not have let fallen an unseasonable pleasantry in the venerable presence of misery to be entitled to all the wit which Rabelais has ever scattered.”
“In “Timorus” he calls Sterne “ein scandalum Ecclesiae”;  he doubts the reality of Sterne’s nobler emotions and condemns him as a clever juggler with words, who by artful manipulation of certain devices aroused in us sympathy, and he snatches away the mask of loving, hearty sympathy and discloses the grinning mountebank.”
“It was started by the so-called Sterne Bund [Star Alliance], a group of landowners and knights that did not like the duke exerting power into their lives.”
“In like manner Goldsmith called Sterne a blockhead; for Mr. Forster (_Life of Goldsmith_, i. 260) is, no doubt, right in saying that the author of _Tristram Shandy_ is aimed at in the following passage in _The Citizen of the World_ (Letter, 74): -- 'In”
“On the whole, therefore, it is impossible to reject the body-snatching story as certainly fabulous, though its truth is far from being proved; and though I can scarcely myself subscribe to Mr. Fitzgerald's view, that there is a “grim and lurid Shandyism” about the scene of dissection, yet if others discover an appeal to their sense of humour in the idea of Sterne's body being dissected after death, I see nothing to prevent them from holding that hypothesis as a “pious opinion.””
“Compare with this the picture, in a letter to Sterling, of Middlebie burn, "leaping into its cauldron, singing a song better than Pasta's"; or that of the Scaur Water, that may be compared with Tennyson's verses in the valley of Cauteretz; or the sketches of the Flemish cities in the tour of 1842, with the photograph of the lace-girl, recalling Sterne at his purest; or the account of the "atmosphere like silk" over the moor, with the phrase, "it was as if Pan slept"; or the few lines written at”
“You won't find it described in dictionaries of literary terms (despite the fondness for running gags of highly literary novelists such as Sterne and Nabokov).”
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