The Works of Laurence Sterne

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 224 من الصفحات
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 13 SERMON II. THE HOUSE OF FEASTING AND THE HOUSE OF MOURNING DESCRIBED. Eccles. vii. 2, 3. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting. That I deny;?but let us hear the wise man's reasoning upon it, ?' for that is the end of all men, and the ' living will lay it to his heart: sorrow is better than ' laughter: '?for a crack-brain'd order of Carthusian monks, I grant, but not for men of the world. For what purpose, do you imagine, has God made us ? for the social sweets of the well-watered valleys, where he has planted us, or for the dry and dismal desert of a Sierra Morena? Are the sad accidents of life, and the uncheery hours which perpetually overtake us, are they not enough, but we must sally forth in quest of them, ?belie our own hearts, arid say, as our text would have us, that they are better than those of joy? Did the Best of Beings send us into the world for this end, ?to go weeping through it, ?to vex and shorten a life short and vexatious enough already ? Do you think, my good preacher, that he who is infinitely happy, can envy us our enjoyments ? or that a Being so infinitely kind, would grudge a mournful traveller the short rest and refreshments necessary to support his spirits through the stages of a weary pilgrimage? or that he would call him to a severe reckoning, because in his way he had hastily snatched at some little fugacious pleasures, merely to sweeten this uneasy journeyof life, and reconcile him to the ruggedness of the road, and the many hard jostlings he is sure to meet with ? Consider, I beseech you, what provision and accommodation the Author of our being has prepared for us, that we might not go on our way sorrowing?how many caravanserais of rest?what powers and faculties he has given us for taking it?what

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نبذة عن المؤلف (2009)

If Fielding showed that the novel (like the traditional epic or drama) could make the chaos of life coherent in art, Sterne only a few years later in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760--67) laughed away the notion of order. In Sterne's world, people are sealed off in their own minds so that only in unpredictable moments of spontaneous feeling are they aware of another human being. Reviewers attacked the obscenity of Tristram's imagined autobiography as it was published (two volumes each in 1759, early 1761, late 1761, 1765, and one in 1767), particularly when the author revealed himself as a clergyman, but the presses teemed with imitations of this great literary hit of the 1760s. Through the mind of the eccentric hero, Sterne subverted accepted ideas on conception, birth, childhood, education, and the contemplation of maturity and death, so that Tristram's concerns touched his contemporaries and are still important. Since Tristram Shandy is patently a great and lasting comic work that yet seems, as E. M. Forster said, "ruled by the Great God Muddle," much recent criticism has centered on the question of its unity or lack of it; and its manipulation of time and of mental processes has been considered particularly relevant to the problems of fiction in our day. Sterne's Sentimental Journey (1768) has been immensely admired by some critics for its superb tonal balance of irony and sentiment. His Sermons of Mr. Yorick (1760) catches the spirit of its time by dramatically preaching benevolence and sympathy as superior to doctrine. Whether as Tristram or as Yorick, Sterne is probably the most memorably personal voice in eighteenth-century fiction.

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