Although he is perhaps better known for his Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne also published another equally as intriguing novel entitled, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. The book recounts the travels of the English narrator, Yorick, from Calais, through Paris and towards the Italian frontier. But unlike most common travelogues, it is replete with the same idiosyncrasies as Sterne's more famous book, Tristram Shandy. The em-dash, so common in his first book, creates a story-telling atmosphere that stops abruptly and then goes—into another scene or somewhere completely digressive. Since the narrator is traveling through France throughout the better part of the novel, a great deal of French phrases are sprinkled throughout the novel. “Mon dieu!, Le Diable!, and femme de chambre,” make more than one appearance, for example.
The book is strange and quite unlike any other book of its time. Samuel Johnson once wrote that, “Nothing odd will do long,” when asked about Sterne's work, but, as we present this e-book edition of the book, some two-hundred and some-odd years after its publication, I believe we can all agree that Mr. Johnson was most certainly in the wrong.
This edition is annotated. All of the French phrases in the book have been translated and included in the notes section of the book.
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