Articles by Ted Scheinman

July 27, 2012

Tristram Shandy, Dilettante: Laurence Sterne and the Pleasures of Attention-Deficit Literature 5

Shandy makes the Cervantes/Fielding/Dickens picaresque look like a straight walk down a well-lit road. It is both a challenge to read and a sustained work of jumpy, distracted hilarity. Attention deficit, for Sterne, is not something to be feared in the reader — it is the basis for his process of composition.