Monday, March 6, 2017

Tristram Shandy

Before you rise up in total awe of my literary dedication, let me be honest and say that I have not read all seven volumes of Tristram Shandy's digression filled account.  In fact, the standing joke about this piece is that Shandy, who narrates on his own behalf, cannot explain anything in simple terms, creating a confounding and at times irrational chronology.

So, why bring up TS at all?  Well, for some crazy reason, I have always remembered this date which marks the happy occasion of his conception.  Actually, my History of the Novel class in college fixated on the juicier details of Stern's work.  Tristam traces the genesis of his troubles to the moment of his conception "in the night betwixt the first Sunday and the first Monday in the month of March".  He can place the date precisely because of the regularity of his father's habits, which included the winding of the large house clock on the first Sunday of every month.I n the midst of doing the deed, his mother asks his father isfhe had wound the clock, creating a disturbance in what was taking place and upsetting Tristram's internal balance.  

Tristram's nose is damaged upon his birth, and, according to his father, without a large nose, the boy would be doomed to a lackluster life with little influence upon those around him.  Then there was the toddler incident.  Somehow, the chamber pot had gone missing and Tristram, using an open window as a loo, suffers an unplanned circumcision when the window sash falls on him.

Happy conception day Tristram Shandy. 

If you want to read more from this part of the poor guys' life, skip right to volume three....I can't vouch for anything in the volumes before or after that point.

Another memory...there is a movie about this book with the major premise being that it is an impossible book to turn into a movie.

Thanks for stopping.