Laurence Sterne Bibliography Website

Web links on Sterne

1. Editions

The definitive edition is The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, ed. Melvyn New and Joan New (Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, 1978), part of the "Florida" edition of Sterne's works. The important quality of an edition of Tristram Shandy is its faithfulness in reproducing Sterne's typography. The edition of James Work (Odyssey) was for many years the standard. The new Penguin edition (ed. New) is based on the Florida edition. Other good editions are by Ian Watt (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965) and by Howard Anderson (New York: Norton, 1980); the last contains critical essays; Watt's introduction is especially good.

2. Biography

The definitive biography of Sterne is the two-volume work by Arthur Hill Cash, Laurence Sterne: The Early and Middle Years (London: Methuen, 1975) and Laurence Sterne: The Later Years (London: Methuen, 1986). It replaces Wilbur L. Cross, The Life and Opinions of Laurence Sterne. 3rd ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1929). Cash does not present considerable new material or take a strikingly new view, but his biography is carefully researched and clearly written. Ian Campbell Ross, Laurence Sterne: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) updates and shortens Cash's biography. Attractively and accessibly written, it is concerned more with the life of the man than the substance of his works (although the two are complexly intertwined). The introduction provides a good overview of Sterne's life through the first publication of Tristram Shandy.

3. Critical Studies

Alter, Robert B. Partial Magic: The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975. [Beyond its useful observations on self-consciousness in Tristram Shandy, Alter's book provides a thoughtful treatment of tradition of narrative self-consciousness, from Cervantes to the present.]

Baird, Theodore. "The Time-Scheme of Tristram Shandy and a Source. PMLA 51 (1956): 803-20. [Argues that Tristram Shandy, rather than being randomly organized, has a carefully worked-out chronology; my chronological handout is based on Baird.]

Bell, Robert H. "Sterne's Anatomy of Folly." Literary Imagination 3.1 (Winter 2001): 21-41. [Sterne is less concerned with epistemology than with "Etristramology." Tristram embodies the splits and confusions of personal identity, but the role he usually plays is that of the fool whose comic novel is a game revealing, perhaps foolishly, the absurdity of life. Bell's anatomy is revealing but the dissection does not cut deep.]

Blackwell, Bonnie. "Tristram Shandy and the Theater of the Mechanical Mother." ELH 68.1 (Spring 2001): 81-133. [Sterne's treatment of man-midwifery and its obstetrical theory of forceps delivery, through the characters of Dr. Slop the practitioner, Walter the theorist, Elizabeth the victim, and Toby the anti-obstetrical hero, attacks eighteenth-century practice and education. Major developments in the period were the widespread use of forceps and the invention (for the instruction of medical students) of mechanical models of delivering mothers.]

Booth, Wayne. "Did Sterne Complete Tristram Shandy?" Modern Philology 47 (1951): 172-83. [As a matter of fact he did, at least in some senses of "complete."]

Byrd, Max. Tristram Shandy London and Winchester, MA: Allen and Unwin, 1985. [Limited by its predetermined biography-background-analysis format and by Byrd's reluctance to resolve inconsistencies, this study nonetheless provides a number of perceptive readings and interesting connections.]

Caldwell, Roy C. "Tristram Shandy, Bachelor Machine." The Eighteenth Century 34.2 (Summer 1993): 103-14. [The unfortunate role of the clock in Tristram's conception is appropriate to a novel where mechanical instruments rather than humans take control. The mystery of Tristram's parentage anticipates his lack of identity, and he is a scriptor assembled by the mechanical production of the text.]

Cash, Arthur H. and John M. Stedmond. The Winged Skull: Papers from the Laurence Sterne Bicentenary Conference. London: Methuen, 1971. [A particularly important collection of papers delivered at a major international conference on Sterne. The selection identifies major topics of Sterne criticism, even if one has reservations about a few of the particular papers that treat them. Though it lacks the overlay of theory that has developed since it was published, it is an excellent place for a newcomer to Sterne scholarship to begin.]

Dowling, William C. "Tristram Shandy's Phantom Audience." Novel 13 (1980): 284-95. [Argues, interestingly if eccentrically, that Tristram is not the narrator of Tristram Shandy and describes his imaginary audience.]

Dyson, A.E. "Sterne: The Novelist as Jester." Critical Quarterly 4 (1962): 309-20. [Progenitor of Joyce, Woolf, and others, Sterne provides a complex novelistic surface but a simple moral benevolence. He addresses the reader personally and intimately but provides a haphazard sense of character. He assumes the role of jester with an irony close to psychological realism.]

Harrison, Bernard. "Sterne and Sentimentalism." In Commitment in Reflection: Essays in Literature and Moral Philosophy, ed. Leona Toker. New York: Garland, 1994. 63-100. [Sterne's sentimentalism can be saved from the claim that it is self-indulgence by looking at his sermons, where, in contrast to Joseph Butler's "deliberative individualism," he argues that people are altruistic because they are inherently social beings. Sterne satirizes deliberative individualism in the figures of Walter and Mrs. Shandy, in contrast to Toby, who sees the "claims of relationship" as paramount, and to Yorick, who represents "Christian fellowship and civic responsibility."]

Holtz, William V. Image and Immortality: A Study of "Tristram Shandy. Providence: Brown University Press, 1970. [A solid study emphasizing the relation of the novel to pictorial narrative, with good chapters on language, narrative, and identity.]

Hunter, J. Paul. "Response as Reformation: Tristram Shandy and the Art of Interruption." Novel 4 (1971): 132-46. [Yorick's sermon as an instance of Sterne's rhetorical methodology.]

Iser, Wolfgang. Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. [A relatively brief, introductory study, with long chapters on subjectivity (emphasizing Sterne's use of Locke, but failing to distinguish between Locke's rationality and Sterne's anti-rationality), on the oddities of writing, and on the text as game.]

Jefferson, D.W. "Tristram Shandy and the Tradition of Learned Wit." Essays in Criticism 1 (1951): 225-48. [Places Sterne in the tradition of learning and the parodies thereof, and looks at the assumptions of that tradition.]

Keymer, Thomas. "Dying by Numbers: 'Tristram Shandy' and Serial Fiction (1)." Shandean 8 (1996): 41-67; "Dying by Numbers: 'Tristram Shandy' and Serial Fiction (2)," Shandean 9 (1997): 34-69. [Appropriately published in numbers, Keymer's essay illuminates the serial form of Tristram Shandy by comparing it in the first instance to Middlemarch and, in the second, to earlier eighteenth-century fiction, including Clarissa and Tom Jones. Serial publication leads to the death of Tristram, which, Keymer argues, ends the novel.]

King, Ross. "Tristram Shandy and the Wound of Language." Studies in Philology 92.3 (Summer 1996): 291-310. [Argues that language, specifically "performative linguistic events," compensates in Tristram Shandy for the degeneration of the body, the site of masculine power, through degeneration and disease. But such linguistic acts are characteristically doomed to failure. The problem lies in part in the instability of linguistic representation, and Toby (for example) turns from representation to gestures. But these too are ambiguous and lead to infinite regression. The failure of speech acts has political as well as sexual implications.]

Kraft, Elizabeth, Laurence Sterne Revisited. New York: Twayne, 1996. [Includes, after a brief biographical introduction, critical chapters on the sermons, Tristram Shandy, A Sentimental Journey and The Journal to Eliza. The concluding chapter offers a useful survey of recent Sterne scholarship.]

Lamb, Jonathan. Sterne's Fiction and the Double Principle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. [Interesting deconstructionist reading of Tristram Shandy that uses materials of eighteenth-century thought (e.g., Addison, Hume, Hogarth) more than contemporary theory to explore Sterne's paradoxical approaches.]

Lawlor, Clark. "Consuming Time: Narrative and Disease in Tristram Shandy." Yearbook of English Studies 30 (2000): 46-59. [Considers the symptoms, effects, and prognosis of consumption (tuberculosis) in the eighteenth century-especially its effect on Sterne and his characters. One of its effects was to speed up time, contributing to its hectic pace and "accidental narrative." Yorick's peaceful death (of consumption) is an end of narrative time.]

Loverso, Marco. "Integrated Consciousness and Dialectic Structure in Tristram Shandy." English Studies in Canada 20.4 (1994): 377-94. [Rejects both the phallocentric reading of Ruth Perry (1988) and the gynocentric reading of Dennis Allen (1985) to see the guiding archetype of the novel as "the marriage of the male and the female, of the self and the other." Argues (not quite convincingly) that Tristram Shandy is organized to follow the three most basic components of human existence: birth, death, and sex."]

Lanham, Richard A. Tristram Shandy: The Games of Pleasure. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973. [Emphasizes the nature of comedy in terms of a game theory of rhetoric.]

Moglen, Helene, The Philosophical Irony of Laurence Sterne. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1975. [Treats irony of style and theme in the context of Sterne's use of Locke.]

Moss, Roger B. "Sterne's Punctuation." Eighteenth-Century Studies 14 (1981): 179-200. [Sterne's punctuation is a careful manipulation of narrative space that satirizes book production.]

Myer, Valerie Grosvenor, ed. Laurence Sterne: Riddles and Mysteries. London: Vision; Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble, 1984. [Uneven collection of essays on Sterne; those by Howes (on Rabelaisian and Cervantic humor), by Porter (on medical background), by New (on annotation), and by Stovel (on gossip) seem the most interesting.]

Nänny, Max. "Similarity and Contiguity in Tristram Shandy." English Studies 60 (1979): 422-35. [Applies Roman Jakobson's important distinction between metaphor and metonym to Sterne's novel. Walter's mind is driven by similarity, Toby's by contiguity.]

New, Melvyn. Laurence Sterne as Satirist Gainsville: University of Florida Press, 1969. [Sterne is placed in the "Augustan" tradition of Pope and Swift and their satire; Walter, Toby, and Tristram himself are instances of Sterne's satiric attack on pride and on the abuses of reason.]

---. Tristram Shandy: A Book for Free Spirits. New York: Twayne, 1994. [The introductory chapters are replicated in New's Penguin edition of the novel. The other chapters consider topics-satire, heads, hearts, and tartuffing-all stemming from Nietzsche's praise of Sterne as "the most liberated spirit of all time."

Pierce, David and Peter de Voogd. Laurence Sterne Modernism and Postmodernism. Postmodern Studies 15 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996). [As the title suggests, this collection of conference papers largely focuses on the relation of Tristram Shandy to various modern and postmodern novels. Generally useful are the essay by Carol Watts on "The Modernity of Sterne," which also suggests ways of reading him, and Herbert Klein on Tristram's identity.]

Piper, William Bowman. Laurence Sterne. New York: Twayne, 1966. [Despite its title, Piper's introductory study concentrates on Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey in critical terms rather than on Sterne in biographical ones; good essays on digression and tragicomedy.]

Rosenblum, Michael. "Why What Happens in Shandy Hall is Not "A Matter for the Police." Eighteenth-Century Fiction 7.2 (January 1995): 147-64. [The person who would call 911 is Jacques Derrida, whose concern for the legal and forensic nature of narrative is extended by critics such as John Bender who see narrative authority as analogous to other modes of social control. Comparison of Fielding's controlled and selective narration to Sterne's circumstantial detail suggests a Shandean intersubjectivity rather than a narrative of social control.]

Saud, Stephen. "'weasels, gardeners, and gladiators': Labyrinths in Tristram Shandy." Eighteenth-Century Studies 28.4 (Summer 1995): 397-411. [Labyrinths characterize Toby's quest for knowledge, the military fortifications in which he was wounded, his fortifications on the bowling green, the "plies and foldings" of Widow Wadman's heart, and the knots of Walter Shandy's language. But they particularly characterize the narrative confusion of Tristram, whose emblem is the marbled page. (This fine article was written by a graduate student.)]

Shklovsky, Victor. "Sterne's Tristram Shandy: Stylistic Commentary." In Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays. Edited by Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965. Pp. 25-57. [Sterne's novel is the most typical in western literature because it exemplifies the important characteristic of defamiliarization, which, for Shklovsky, is a defining element of plot.]

Stedman, John M. The Comic Art of Laurence Sterne. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1967. [Sterne is both highly original and highly derivative; a forerunner of modernism but rooted in the eighteenth century. He adopts stylistic traits of Rabelais and Cervantes and uses the same satiric targets (especially reason) as Pope and Swift. Tristram's role as clown or "wise fool" is traced through the novel's volumes.]

Swearingen, James E. Reflexivity in Tristram Shandy: An Essay in Phenomenological Criticism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977. [Sees Tristram Shandy in terms of modern philosophy (especially Husserl's phenomenology) rather than in terms of enlightenment thought; stimulating, if dense, but one will often disagree.]

Traugott, John. Tristram Shandy's World: Sterne's Philosophical Rhetoric. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954. [One of the first full studies of Sterne's use (and abuse) of Locke; still a good place to begin deciphering Sterne.]

Tuveson, Ernest. "Locke and Sterne." In Reason and Imagination: Studies in the History of Ideas, 1600-1800. Ed. by J.A. Mazzeo. New York: Columbia University Press, 1962. Pp. 255-77. [Straightforward discussion of what Locke tries to do and how Sterne uses it; the novel demonstrates "how Locke's own attack on false and obscure reasoning can be perverted to produce exactly what he tried to eliminate."]

Visser, Nicholas. "Tristram Shandy and the Straight Line of History." Textual Practice 12.3 (Winter 1998): 489-502. [Consideration of the economics of the Shandy household and of its historic context shows that Tristram Shandy is more historical than some formalist critics suspect but less than Baird (1936) asserted.

Return to syllabus


books Laurence Sterne Books List

3.4k views 57 items Follow Embed
Below you'll find a Laurence Sterne books list, including published and even unpublished works. This Laurence Sterne bibliography includes all books by Laurence Sterne, including collections, editorial contributions, and more. Any type of book or journal citing Laurence Sterne as a writer should appear on this list. The full bibliography of the author Laurence Sterne below includes book jacket images whenever possible. This list contains items like The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy



















































Filed Under: Booksbookslaurence sterne The Sexiest Vampire Movies Ever Made The Best Tasting Whiskey Famous Figure Skaters from Germany

0 Thoughts to “Laurence Sterne Bibliography Website

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrĂ  pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *