Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy cover

#1 - 01 - "They order, said I, this matter better..."

Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

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

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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)

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