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Laurence Sterne By Manfred Pfister

Laurence Sterne
by Manfred Pfister

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This study critiques Laurence Sterne's work in the light of modern literary theory, questioning whether he was an artist before his time.
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Laurence Sterne Summary

Laurence Sterne by Manfred Pfister

Despite the immense popularity of Laurence Sterne's work during his lifetime, his contribution to the novel form and experimentalism has only been acknowledged since his death. His contemporaries Richardson and Goldsmith denounced his archaic methods and took offence at his playful irreverence but his oddity is never accidental nor perverse; it is the strategy of an inventive, thoughtful, comic talent. Tristram Shandy, perhaps his best loved work, defies convention at every turn, distributing narrative content across a bafflingly idiosyncratic time-scheme interrupted by digressions, authorial comments and interferences with the printed fabric of the book. This comically fragmented story line is a reaction against the linear narratives of Fielding and Richardson; aiming instead at a realistic impressionism, a shape determined by the association of ideas. This study critiques Sterne's work in the light of modern literary theory, questioning whether he was an artist before his time.

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About Manfred Pfister

Manfred Pfister is Professor of English Literature at the Free University, Berlin. He has lectured at the Universities of Munich and Passau, as well as being guest Professor at the Universities of Sussex and East Anglia. Dr Pfister has written and edited books and essays on a wide range of subjects, notably The Theory and Analysis of Drama (CUP, 1988) and The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Italies of British Travellers (Rodopi, 1996), and is currently engaged in anthologising and translating 17th to 19th century English poetry.

Additional information

Laurence Sterne by Manfred Pfister
Manfred Pfister
Writers and their Work
Used - Very Good
Liverpool University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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