”I was so moved I almost fell asleep”, said James Joyce.

24 Nov

Professora Ruggieri talked about Rome as seen by foreigners. She mentioned, among others, Laurence Sterne, who wrote A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. This copy in Swedish is for sale in my bookstore. Sterne’s novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy is an astonishing – sometimes exasperating, sometimes tedious – but still astonishing novel. Too strange to describe, centuries before its time. An indication of just how strange this piece of fiction, first published in the 1760s, is, can be seen in the film made from it, just a few years ago. It is directed by Michel Winterbottom and stars Steve Coogan, the brilliant comedian who created the character of Alan Partridge. Tristram Shandy, the movie is similar to The French Lieutenant’s Woman in that the actors both act as themselves and as their characters. But Tristram Shandy takes this device to a whole other level. It is up there with Charlie Kaufman. His name is mentioned in this amusing review by Roger Ebert. If you don’t have the patience for the novel I’m sure you will enjoy the movie.

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