Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tristram Shandy, Again

So, the other night I was feeling rather melancholy, the type one gets from long car trips and lack of sleep and the ending of vacations. For cheering up, I turned to my beaten, battered, well-loved copy of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. I found this book hilarious from the very first page, the very first sentence; I can't understand what problem many English professors and an apparent majority of other people who read it have with it. I can't understand how one can start it and not have the urge to read the rest immediately. I wish I could eat that book, have it climb inside me and ride around for a while.

I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they
begot me; had they duly consider'd how much depended upon what they were then doing;--that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;--and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;--Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,--I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.


Bruce Gee said...

Ok. I'll nibble.

Making a baby--I mean intentionally starting out to beget a family--is about two people doing something truly insane. It is stepping out into the Great Unknown, a twenty-five-year tunnel to middle age that no rational creature would undertake under normal circumstances. At least, that is how it looks looking back on it. What could we have been thinking???

So, Tristam, any concern we had for producing a Rational being--nay a RB of some degree of genius!--was sort of a crap-shoot kind of thing. Let's stick these two parts together, rub a little, and see what comes out, eh?

Ask your father, dear.

Ethan said...


Thanks for that, Bruce. Ever read Tristram Shandy? I bet you'd like it.