Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sentiment and SociabilityThe Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Mullan

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122524

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122524.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2020

Laurence Sterne and the ‘Sociality’ of the Novel

Laurence Sterne and the ‘Sociality’ of the Novel

(p.147) 4 Laurence Sterne and the ‘Sociality’ of the Novel
Sentiment and Sociability

John Mullan

Oxford University Press

The anonymous pamphlet A Funeral Discourse, Occasioned by the Much Lamented Death of Mr Yorick, published in 1761, was but one of the many spoofs and rejoinders which attached themselves to Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy throughout the 1760s and 1770s. If we are to recover Sterne's ‘sentimentalism’, we should look at the reception and circulation of his writings, and if we do this we can follow the lead of the pamphleteer. Sterne's fiction is notoriously self-conscious about the modes of a novel's coherence — about the powers of a narrator to convince, to beguile, and to satisfy. It is attentive to its ‘sociality’. Sterne's characters are attached to the world by the metaphors and allusions on which they rely, and which protect them against death, discord, and disaster. They are not mad, first because they are attached to each other by sympathy, and second because they are innocents whose limited ways with words are displayed to a reader who has to be sophisticated to comprehend their transparent instincts.

Keywords:   Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, sentimentalism, sociality, metaphors, allusions, sympathy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .