Laurence Sterne: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Life & Opinions of the Gentleman
Tristram Shandy or, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman purports to be a biography of the eponymous character. Its style is marked by digression, double entendre, and graphic devices. As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram's narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make explanatory diversions to add context and colour to his tale. Most of the action is concerned with domestic upsets or misunderstandings, which find humour in the opposing temperaments of its central characters. Arthur Schopenhauer cited Tristram Shandy as one of the greatest novels ever written.