03 March 2011

Literary Blog Hop- Ha, ha funny

It is time again for The Literary Blog Hop (applause, applause):

Literary Blog Hop



Thank you as always Blue Bookcase for the opportunity to ramble about the literary. This week's topic:


Can literature be funny? What is your favorite humorous literary book?

But, of course, literature can be funny.  Satire is one of my favorite genres, and then there is of course slapstick, bawdy, laugh out loud funny literature that isn't satire.
The book I am choosing is one that I think everyone should read, although not many people do:

Lawrence Sterne's Tristram Shandy

There are lots of reasons to read this tome if you are a lover of the literary.  For one, if you think that postmodern literature begins and ends with David Foster Wallace, here would be some evidence to the contrary.  This book is hugely influential (especially throughout the British canon) and seldom read.

It is also funny.  It isn't a satire and it isn't laugh out loud funny, but it uses humor and it is playful.  It has some very Dickensian characters (of course, before Dickensian was a term).  There is also a lot of great (Nabokovian before Nabokov?) language play if you are into that sort of thing. 

Anyway, it must be funny because the Monty Python guys made a movie based on it, right?

Here's the trailer:



14 comments:

  1. I'll have to add this one to my list. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  2. Oh my God, I am scarred, SCARRED by Tristram Shandy!! I had to read it the second week of my degree course and it scared the crap out of me because it was giant and really hard! I still haven't finished it/found the guts to try it again...

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  3. I've not read it, but then I've never read any literary works that are funny. I'm sad to say that they do not exist.

    Here's my post for this week's Literary Blog Hop: http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2011/03/welcome-to-literary-blog-hop-hosted-by.html

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  4. You know...it never occured to me to read this book! I guess I should give it a try from your recommendation.:)

    @ Laura - you're scarred because it's large or something about the story or the writer's style puts you off? I'm curious, you see.:D

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  5. I know I've read at least an excerpt out of Tristram Shandy, yet for the life of me I can't remember it. May need to see what it's about again!

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  6. I've been meaning to read Tristam Shanty for a while now. Thanks for dropping by at Free Listens.

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  7. Thanks for visiting my blog this week and for leaving a comment. I enjoyed reading your post, though I've never read Tristram Shandy, and now I'm a follower. Who is the statue of the girl reading on your blog?

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  8. I remember struggling with Tristram Shandy as a student - didn't get it at all. Then, as I got older, and started to ramble myself...it all fell into place.

    Found you in a roundabout way through your comments on some of the other new blog I've found recently.

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  9. @Risa- it was a bit because it was so big, but also because it was just awful- I found it really hard to read! But, then again, most novels pre-Jane Austen I find pretty much awful, because nobody knew how to write them properly imho.

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  10. @ Laura: Yes, Tristram isn't for everyone, but I love it for real. I also think there is some very good stuff pre-Austen (and Dickens and Eliot) that made their writing possible. Moll Flanders rocks, so does Gulliver's Travels. But I guess that is just my humble opinion. I am an odd breed that gets more pleasure out of the read when I feel like I metaphorically waded through the trenches to get it.

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  11. Sounds intriguing but daunting. (A book I would like to have read, but may not actually enjoy reading.) I should give it a try though and see.

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  12. Great Choice, and recently covered in a BBc programme on books.
    An example of Postmodern humour.
    An Englishman,Irishman, & Scotsman go into a pub.
    The landlord says "Whats this a joke"

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  13. I've never heard of Tristam Shandy before, but then again I still haven't seen Monty Python either. LOL. Will check this one out. :)

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  14. I love the movie but have not read the book. Thanks for the reminder.

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I love your comments. Thanks for making me a happy blogger.

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