Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 54.1 (Laurence Sterne)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Sterne, Laurence
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books. I bought this in, I think, 2004 or 5, just before Lori and I went on a trip to Guatemala. It was a truly strange book to be reading while traveling through a country of dense tropical rain forests, ancient Mayan pyramids, and dozens of smoking volcanoes. But I have never been one to read books related to the place I travel while I am traveling. I have tried it, but I don't enjoy it. It feels to much like homework.

A couple of year earlier I had brought Olson's Mayan letters with me to the Yucatan. I tried to read it. I think I also brought the Popol Vuh and a history of the area. I think I ended up reading Raymond Chandler. It's easier for me to just allow my imagination to follow whatever path it is currently on and let the outside world enter into it as it will than it is to corral it into a culturally edifying educational experience.

I prefer to go to a place, experience it, then read about it after the fact, thus deepening the knowledge gained by experience. Color me empiricist.

from The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

—It is as hairy as I am; said Obadiah.—Obadiah had not been shaved for three weeks—Wheu...u...u...cried my father; beginning the sentence with an exclamatory whistle—and so, brother Toby, this poor Bull of mine, who is as good a Bull as ever p..ss'd, and might have done for Europa herself in purer times—had he but two legs less, might have been driven into Doctors Commons and lost his character—which to a Town Bull, brother Toby, is the very same thing as his life—
L..d! said my mother, what is all this story about?—

A Cock and a Bull, said Yorick—And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard.

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